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Culvers closes after Saturday fire
Owner promises to rebuild
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The owner of Culver’s Restaurant plans to rebuild after a fire early Saturday forced the closing of the restaurant.

Bruce Kroll, owner of the Platteville and Dubuque Culver’s, said Monday “as of right now” he plans to rebuild within “less than six months,” either at the current location, 375 E. Business 151, or another location.

The store suffered heavy fire and smoke damage after the fire broke out early Saturday morning.

Platteville police were notified by the restaurant’s alarm company at 4:20 a.m. of a motion-detector alarm.
Police arrived to find smoke “billowing” from the building, according to police.

Platteville firefighters arrived five minutes later, with “heavy black smoke showing,” said Fire Chief Dave Izzard.

“We pretty much within the first hour had it slowed down, but it was a lot like Chicago’s Best — it got into the upper part of the roofline, and it was hard to knock down,” said Izzard.

Platteville EMS and the city Water & Sewer and Streets departments assisted at the scene. The Cuba City Fire Department was called for mutual aid. About 60 firefighters were at the scene for 16 hours.

Izzard said the fire’s origin will officially be “undetermined,” but it is not believed to be suspicious. He said it probably started in the kitchen area.

Kroll is working with Southwest Design, which designs Culver’s buildings, on the design of the new restaurant. He said it will look like Culver’s newest southern Wisconsin store, in Reedsburg, with stone exterior walls and without the blue roof of earlier stores.

The Platteville Culver’s was the company’s eighth restaurant to open, in 1992. Kroll has owned the restaurant for 18 years. It was renovated two years ago. The restaurant has 40 employees.

Kroll said he will try to find temporary positions for his employees at his Dubuque Culver’s and in other area Culver’s, in Galena and Dodgeville, until the Platteville Culver’s reopens.

“We’re going to be bigger and better,” said Kroll. “Culver’s is not a building; we’re much more than that.”

Platteville Music Boosters will still be selling Culver’s gift cards to raise money for the organization. The cards can be used at any Culver’s, and have no expiration date.