City Council gives Culvers drive-thru the thumbs up


City Attourney Dean Frieders discusses the plans to build a Culver’s on West Lincoln Highway during Monday’s City Council meeting at the DeKalb Municipal building, 200 S. Fourth St. City Council approved a permit for the Culver’s Drive-Thru at the meeting.

By Keisha Howerth

City Council approved a permit for a Culver’s Drive-Thru at Monday’s meeting.

The council also approved sign waivers for Culver’s, 1262 W. Lincoln Highway, to provide better visibility for the business.

Plano residents Jeff and Marcia Newkirk have invested in the DeKalb location for Culver’s, which will replace the old Fiesta Cancun restaurant building. Jeff asked for a 10 percent increase on the square footage of a sign to promote the custard flavor of the day.

“We want to go to three lines on our sign board, which puts us at the 1.8 square feet over the 18 square feet maximum,” Jeff Newkirk said. “A big part of our business is the flavor of the day for the custard, and there’s a lot of custard flavors that will go to two lines, such as salted caramel chocolate.”

Jeff Newkirk said his family chose DeKalb for a Culver’s location because of the opportunities the city offers.

“We think that being close to NIU is going to be great not only to have students as customers, but also because of the labor pool it presents,” Jeff Newkirk said. “We plan to hire 50 to 60 people.”

Jeff Newkirk said the city can plan on a $100,000-a-year addition of sales tax revenue based on projected sales and DeKalb’s sales tax structure.

“We as a council strive to add tax revenue,” said 1st Ward Alderman David Jacobson. “I appreciate that you chose our community to make this big investment in.”

Jeff Newkirk said the investment being made for a Culver’s location in DeKalb isn’t coming from the corporation, but is a family investment.

“We want to become a part of your community,” Jeff Newkirk said. “Culver’s has a tradition of being involved in the community and helping with fundraisers.”

Jeff Newkirk said one Culver’s program, called Give a Pint, Get a Pint, is co-sponsored with blood drives. Coupons are given out to get a free pint of custard if a pint of blood is given.

“Culver’s has a big program called Thank You, Farmers, which I think goes really well with this area of the country with the farming ties that DeKalb has,” Jeff Newkirk said.

Fifth Ward Alderman Ronald Naylor said a Culver’s on West Lincoln Highway would be a good catalyst for regrowth in the area.

“West Lincoln Highway was at one time a primary commercial strip in DeKalb,” Naylor said.

Jeff said his family feels the Culver’s location will be a great improvement to the area and spur redevelopment on nearby vacant properties.