Jul. 20—A final rezoning, clearing the way for a second Culver's restaurant in Vigo County, was approved Tuesday by the Vigo County Board of Commissioners.
The restaurant, to be on property of the Vigo County Fairgrounds at 3901 S. U.S. 41, will be the third in Indiana for Matt and Renee Bilyeu, who first opened a Culver's on Terre Haute's east side in December 2019. The couple opened a second Culver's at 7 Executive Blvd. in Vincennes in November 2021.
The fairgrounds will lease 2.35 acres fronting U.S. 41 for the new restaurant, bringing annual revenue to the fairgrounds.
"We are hoping to open next summer," Matt Bilyeu said Tuesday. "We are not rushing this, as we want to make sure this works for everybody. We would like to keep the land in the fairgrounds, so hopefully we can work out all those details. Normally, from a business perspective, it is not a great thing (to lease land), but this is a way for us to give back.
"There are probably more places we could go that would be way less costly and we could built this [restaurant] more efficiently, but we feel it is a good fit for us and a pretty good fit for the fairgrounds as well, utilizing some space that doesn't get used," Bilyeu said.
"When you look at [Culver's] core values and (Culver's) branding and the Thank You Farmers project [which supports the National FFA Organization], this is such as good fit," Bilyeu said.
Bilyeu said the fairgrounds is part of the couple's focus on community involvement as well as supporting 4-H and FFA.
"If anyone was at the Vigo County Fair last week, you can see what a huge asset the fairgrounds are to the community," Bilyeu said, who said all three of his children are involved in 4-H.
"We feel we can bring a positive light to help support it and help sustain it," he said of the fairgrounds, "and hopefully develop future 4H members and fair goers," Bilyeu said.
Part of the rezoning approval includes a provision for the Indiana Department of Transportation to direct traffic to the south. Northbound traffic will have to travel south after existing from the restaurant before seeking a turn to head back to the north.
"This is just the first of many stages" for the project said Richard Shagley, attorney representing the Wabash Valley Fair Association.
Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached 812-231-4204 or email@example.com. Follow on Twitter@TribStarHoward.