New Culver's Chicago restaurant opens in Pullman, creating 75 jobs on Far South Side

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A new Culver's restaurant is now open in Chicago's Pullman neighborhood, bringing a much-needed economic boost to the city's Far South Side.

Culver's opened its doors to the Pullman neighborhood shortly after 10 a.m. Monday morning, serving up its renowned butter burgers, cheese curds and frozen custard. But for the neighborhood near E. 111th St. and S. Doty Ave., it's about much more than just the burgers. It's about the jobs.

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"That's what stabilizes communities," franchise owner Baron Waller said. "It could be a burger joint. It could be a pizza joint. It could be anything. But it brings jobs and that's what people need. That's what young people need."

Three hundred people applied for the 75 positions that were created by Culver's. And while some neighborhoods might take a fast food joint for granted, it's the first standalone, sit-down restaurant built in the Pullman/Roseland area in 30 years.

"It just got to be sad," customer Rosalin Overton said. "Pullman was open, it wasn't this, what it is now. So now to see restaurants, Amazon, the Pullman Center open, now Culver's and Potbelly it builds like, oh we're back. We have some place to go."

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Over the last decade, Pullman has seen a renaissance of sorts. Declared a national monument in 2015, the neighborhood has focused not just on attracting visitors, but creating opportunity. Amazon has a distribution center here. There is a Walmart, as well as one of the area's largest athletic facilities.

"We're looking at it from a holistic standpoint. We're attacking it," 9th Ward Ald. Anthony Beale said. "The results are showing with a reduction in crime. You put people to work, you give them opportunity, crime goes down. And we need to continue that momentum."

The next big project on the list for the neighborhood is to bring in a hotel, which will be located in an empty lot just across from Culver's.
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