The Wisconsin staple, known for its butterburgers, cheese curds and frozen custard, opened at 3355 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Drive on the South Side.
As the drive-thru line wrapped around the parking lot, owner Baron Waller was on hand to greet the steady stream of customers inside. He already owns and operates three Culver's locations in the suburbs, but he made it his mission to bring jobs to his old neighborhood.
"It's important to me because I actually used to live here. From the Culver's window, I can actually see the building where I lived," Waller said. "It's very important for me to be back in the community in which I lived."
Waller has staffed the restaurant with 65 local residents, including 43 local high school students.
Culver's co-founder Craig Culver, president and CEO Joseph Koss and Alderman Sophia King (4th Ward) also attended the grand opening and ribbon-cutting at 10 a.m.
"Great turnout, everyone's here," Waller said. "We're getting compliments and we're just happy to be here."
A second location will open on Monday in the Portage Park neighborhood at 4939 W. Irving Park.
Culver's opened in the 1980s in Wisconsin.