Back in 2017, Business Insider named Culver’s the most popular fast food restaurant in Kansas, but there were none in Wichita.
Now, one is scheduled to open on the west side by late this year or early in 2024.
“Topeka, Kansas, is currently the farthest west Culver’s in the state of Kansas,” Nick Campe said.
He’s been the general manager of that restaurant but now is moving to Wichita as the Culver’s franchisee for this area.
“We have big dreams and aspirations to fill Wichita up with Culver’s.”
The first will open at 3210 N. Maize Road, which is near IHOP just north of 29th and Maize Road.
“We are famous for our fresh, never frozen butter burgers made with Midwest beef served on a lightly toasted buttered bun,” Campe said. “That is our trademark.”
The chain also makes fresh frozen custard about every hour throughout the day.
That may sound an awful lot like Wichita’s Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers.
“It’s similar but completely different because we have a much broader menu,” Campe said.
Culver’s also offers fish and chicken dishes and soups and salads among other things.
“It’s actually (been) one of my favorite restaurants even before I got in the business,” Campe said.
He said he knew the hamburgers always would be hot and fresh cooked.
“That’s how it was every time.”
The west-side Culver’s will be able to seat about 120, which includes a small patio with four tables, and will have a drive-through.
Without any construction delays, late October is the best-case scenario for the restaurant opening. If things don’t go as planned, it could be as late as early next year.
Campe is a St. Louis native who spent time in Wisconsin, where Culver’s started in 1984.
Today, the chain has more than 900 restaurants, including nine currently in Kansas.
Campe said he’s always been interested in owning his own business so he could be a leader and a mentor.
He said the Topeka Culver’s has done well even though it opened during the pandemic.
“The community blessed us and still showed up.”
They developed the 9-acre project that also includes IHOP and Life.Church. The Culver’s property was the last remaining site within the project.
Campe said he’ll eye the east side of Wichita for the city’s second Culver’s site.
“I would say within three years we’ll get over there.”