Butterburgers and frozen custard, courtesy of Lewis & Clark Development Group

The wait is almost over. Sometime around October 1, Butterburgers, frozen custard, and cheese curds will be available at Mandan’s Culver’s. The fast food chain is opening its second North Dakota restaurant at the former Bonanza location (1704 East Main) in Mandan – thanks, in large part, to Lewis & Clark Development Group.

Owners Sammi and Hanji Wu had plans to renovate the Bonanza building. They had to abandon those plans when it was discovered that the foundation could not support the renovations. Working with the City of Mandan’s Business Development Director Ellen Huber, lead lender VUE Credit Union, the Bank of North Dakota, and LCD Group, the Wus were able to make their vision a reality.

It’s a vision in keeping with both demand for the popular chain and with the City of Mandan’s on-going work to expand the city’s restaurant options. The desire for more eating establishment choices consistently ranks high in surveys and complements Mandan’s special incentives for restaurant development. The Mandan City Commission approved assistance to the Wus through the city’s Restaurant Rewards sales tax rebate and interest buy down programs.

LCD Group participated in financing the project through three different funding mechanisms. The SBA 504 Loan program provided long-term financing, the North Dakota Opportunity Fund provided interim financing and working capital, and the Intermediary Relending Program (IRP) for local match to the Bank of North Dakota’s (BND) PACE buydown program.

“Culver’s will provide a welcome upgrade to Mandan’s east Main Street area,” adds Matt Burthold, LCD commercial lending director. “Lewis and Clark Development Group’s ability to provide flexible financing through the North Dakota Opportunity Fund, IRP program, and SBA 504 program gives Culver’s, and other small businesses, an additional boost for success.”

The new 4,300-square-foot-building will offer seating for 104, takeout and drive-thru services. Daily customer traffic is projected at 685. The Wus plan to hire 10 full-time and 45 part-time employees. At the moment, they anticipate the restaurant will be open seven days a week from 10 AM to 10 PM, with the ability to stay open later to accommodate local events.

The total estimated cost for the project is more than $3 million.

Note: Additional information on this story was provided by The Bismarck Tribune.
Photo Credit: Culver’s