The Wisconsin-based chain’s newest store opened its doors Monday and had a soft launch party on Jan. 11.
Plant Citians now only have to go as far as North Park Road to get their fix of cheese curds, frozen custard and butterburgers.
Culver’s of Plant City officially opened Monday, nearly a year and three months after the Plant City EDC’s initial announcement that the chain’s franchising system was exploring the idea of opening a restaurant in town. Residents have responded in kind, flooding the drive-thru lane at lunchtime and packing all 86 parking spots.
Monday’s opening was especially sweet for the first 200 customers, who each received a voucher for one free frozen custard for each of the next 12 months. Many people with a sweet tooth even camped out in front of the store to make sure they wouldn’t miss out on that opportunity.
Just two days before the doors opened to the public, the store held an exclusive event from 1 to 2:30 p.m. to give some residents a taste of what was to come. Hundreds of people came out to meet the staff and owners T.J. and Scott Schwebke, get a look at the finished 5,500 square-foot restaurant and eat whatever they wanted. Whether someone wanted a buttery cheeseburger with patties piled high or a slightly healthier salad with some chicken tenders, Culver’s was ready despite every seat in the house being taken and a line that spilled out of the door.
“I thought it was amazing,” Scott McIntosh said. “I wasn’t real familiar with Culver’s. It was my second time in one. The service was good, the people were good, the food was good. The frozen custard, that stuff was amazing. I can’t wait to go back and I’m really glad they’ve come to town.”
Local students involved with FFA programs were also invited out to the event to highlight their work. The Culver’s organization is a strong supporter of the FFA and agricultural education programs. Its national Thank You Farmers Project has contributed more than $2 million to ag education programs in the last six years and its annual FFA Essay Contest has given $55,000 in scholarship money to finalists. Culver’s also has a “Blue Jacket Program” that provides the iconic blue corduroy jackets to students who otherwise can’t afford them. Culver’s restaurants offer options for guests to donate to their local FFA programs and also offer it online at ffa.givingfuel.com/culvers.
Culver’s of Plant City is located near Interstate 4 at 2013 N. Park Road and is open from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.