PERE MARQUETTE TWP. — Culver’s is up and running at 5089 W. U.S. 10 just west of the Rodeway Inn.
The restaurant opened its doors officially at 10 a.m. Monday, and at that time, there was already a lineup of residents eager to get their first taste of the food chain’s offerings.
During the first day of service, hundreds of people turned up to get their first taste of what the restaurant has to offer.
Wendy Wells and her family were among the hungry masses/
“We’ve been looking forward to it,” Wells said.
Wells had her family with her, and they enjoyed ice cream on the patio in the early afternoon.
Franchise owner Jason Rivest told the Daily News that Monday’s opening was a positive sign of things to come.
“We have an army of staff ready to serve, and we had people lined up at the drive-thru 15 minutes before we opened,” Rivest said. “I don’t know who’s more excited, the community or the team members.”
Despite the current COIV-19 pandemic, which has resulted in many food chains offering drive-thru only, Rivest said the dining room at Culver’s is open at half capacity.
There’s also an outdoor patio with tables where customers can dine safely while maintaining social distance.
The pandemic did have some impact on Rivest’s plans, however, as a grand opening initially set for early June had to be delayed, and restrictions on construction presented a bit of a “bump in the road,” Rivest said.
“We did have a bit of construction down time in March when we were shut down for a while, but we got that back up when we could and that got us to today,” Rivest said. “We just had to pump the breaks a bit, but we got through it.”
The restaurant is Rivest’s first and only Culver’s franchise. He said he and his employees are thrilled to be in the Ludington area, noting that surrounding township officials were supportive.
“The township’s been excellent to work with the whole time,” he said. “Everybody’s been really supportive.
“We’re glad to be here, glad to give people another option. We’re happy and ready to serve anyone who comes through and we have a great product available and great staff,” he said, adding that Culver’s currently employs about 60 people.
Culver’s will be open from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day. More information can be found at www.culvers.com.