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Kansas State Collegian

Kansas State Collegian

The independent student news publication at Kansas State University

Kansas State Collegian

New Culver’s location overflows with customers: ‘Seeing people together and laughing, that’s why we did this’

Manhattan’s newest restaurant meets the community with overwhelming support
Jersey Johnson
Culver’s opens its doors on Tuesday, January 30 sitting right off of McCall Road. It features double drive-thru lanes and is famous for frozen custard and ButterBurgers.

On Jan. 29, cars swarmed McCall Road to become the first customers at the grand opening of Manhattan’s Culver’s. Business is booming since the locally-owned location for the Wisconsin-based company opened.

“We wanted a family business that we didn’t have to start from scratch and has that reputation,” David Gemoll, Culver’s Manhattan owner, said. “We were not prepared for how much this place loves custard and cheese curds … and the Dr. Pepper.”

David Gemoll said they’ve been so busy they’ve had to recruit temporary staff from other Culver’s locations.

“We started bringing in some help from other Culver’s restaurants in Kansas City to help us,” David Gemoll said. “I’m putting up people at the Bluemont Hotel for the next three weeks to help us get through this kind of huge burst, but it’s a great sign because we have all intention about bringing a second restaurant here in Manhattan.”

David Gemoll said that if they opened a second restaurant, it would be on the west side of Manhattan.

“We’ve just got to find a location,” David Gemoll said. “We’re gonna have to find a piece of property that could hold a restaurant like this.”

“My wife and I saw this as an opportunity to do a few things,” David Gemoll said. “We wanted to develop … younger managers and leaders. And the other thing was, we kind of see this as a platform for giving back to the community.”

David Gemoll said Culver’s lets the local restaurant owners partner with local organizations to raise money for, partner with, and donate to benefit the local community.

“We’re not far enough along that I can mention them, but when we set this up … we’ll distribute the money from there so that we make sure we check out other non-profits and do our due diligence to those,” David Gemoll said. “We’re looking forward to our partnerships with charities and nonprofits in the Manhattan area.”

However, the Gemolls’ dream of successfully opening a Culver’s wasn’t always so promising.

“There was a point when we almost had to cancel the [Culver’s] project,” David Gemoll said. “Our interest rate when we started this was four and a quarter. And by the time we got to the end, it was nine and a half. That’s more than a quarter million dollars a year in difference, which is a big change, but we took the chance.”

Judy Gemoll, general manager and wife to David Gemoll, said that it’s been a popular spot for students and community members.

“It’s just a special place,” Judy Gemoll said. “People are coming in here, eating custard, playing games and finding it just a fun place to hang out. Seeing people together and laughing, that’s why we did this.”

Judy Gemoll said the number of people who thanked them for opening the Culver’s is too many to count.

“Every night we’re just packed with people, so we’ve gotta be doing something right,” Judy Gemoll said.

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About the Contributor
Kaitlynn Faber
Kaitlynn Faber, arts & culture editor
A&C editor for spring 2024. Previously asst. A&C editor for fall 2023 and writer for 2022-23.
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