ANGOLA — Angola is one step closer to having a Culver’s restaurant after the Board of Zoning Appeals gave its approval Monday for a variance for the parking lot.

Chris McGuire from McCon Building Corporation, Highland, Wisconsin, presented on behalf of the property owner, S&L Properties Angola LLC on the project that will sit on property at 2207 N. Wayne St.

“Our company travels around the country building Culver’s restaurants,” McGuire said. “We have worked with S&L Properties for a number of years.”

McGuire said S&L Properties is the largest Culver’s franchise owner in the country.

The variance request was to encroach into the parking lot setback, requesting to build a parking lot 17 feet from the east property line, which is a variance of 20.5 feet, for a total of a 37.5 foot setback.

“It doesn’t change the front setback what-so-ever,” said Economic Development and Planning Director Vivian Likes.

The plan has changed some, McGuire said, because of conversations with the Indiana Department of Transportation, which wants a barrier to make it so people can only turn in from the north and so people aren’t turning directly into the parking lot.

McGuire said they have built a similarly designed restaurant in Kenosha, Wisconsin, for the same owners that works well.

Entrance into the restaurant will be at the traffic light off North Wayne Street and boat traffic will be accommodated, McGuire said. They are looking to keep drive-through traffic routed to keep it from backing up onto North Wayne.

Aaron Archuleta will be the new franchise’s operator and is one of four members of the franchise’s owner, S&L Properties.

“It’s been a pretty interesting and awesome year,” Archuleta said.

Archuleta is currently the operator of S&L Properties’ three other Culver’s franchises in Three Rivers, Michigan, Charlotte, Michigan, and Auburn.

Rather than manage from afar, Archuleta spends multiple days a week helping out in his stores.

“One unique thing about Culver’s is that the expectations is that the owners are active and engaged on the floor and in the restaurant,” he said. “That’s one of the neat things, getting to work shoulder to shoulder with our team.”

S&L Properties recently bought the Auburn location from original owner Glenn Padmos, who had intentions to open an Angola location as well. S&L moved forward with the idea, and the BZA’s zoning approval Monday was one of the first steps towards making it a reality.

The project still has to go before the Angola Plan Commission.

McGuire said if everything stays on track, the plan is to break ground in December and have the restaurant open by May 2022.

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