Quality culture at Culver’s: New BG restaurant opens


A culture of quality — represented prominently with their cheese curds and custard — opened on Monday with the ribbon cutting for the Culver’s restaurant in Bowling Green.

Co-owners Dan Schwinefus and Ben Galaviz have moved from Wisconsin to Ohio for their businesses.

“I was on the radio a couple months ago and the athletic director of the university was talking about winning. We don’t win every game, but we strive to continue to win. That’s what we are all about with Culver’s too, with the culture of hospitality and bringing that clean environment to the community and treating people right,” Galaviz said. “It’s up to us now to create the culture, the experiences and the great food that we’re known for.”

A ribbon cutting for the grand opening of the new Culver’s in Bowling Green was held on Monday. It included Mayor Mike Aspacher, center with giant scissors; on his left is co-owner Ben Galaviz with his mother Joy Schliewe; to his right is Dan Schwinefus and his mother Kathy; on the far right are Bowling Green Councilman Bill Herald and Frieda and Freddie Falcon with Chamber Director Mary Hinkelman, far left.

More than 100 people showed up from the local community.

“I really do appreciate their investment in Bowling Green. With that investment, everybody wins,” Councilman Bill Herald said.

Galaviz’s mother, Joy Schliewe, and Schwinefus’ mother Kathy Schwinefus, come to their business openings. They signed the first dollar spent at the new restaurant, which was framed and signed by both women.

“It’s been a long road and our mothers and families have been very supportive,” Galaviz said.

The new Culver’s has brought in 62 new jobs.

This is the third location for the Blue Granite Group in Ohio. It represents a $4.3 million investment for local co-owners Schwinefus and Galaviz, who are partners with the group. The two other Northwest Ohio Culver’s locations are in Perrysburg and Holland.

“That’s three stores in less than two years,” Schwinefus said. “It does seem really fast. Growing up in Wisconsin we’ve seen Culver’s grow from a ma and pop organization, to officially this is number 910.”

Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce Director Mary Hinkelman and Mayor Mike Aspacher gave congratulatory words, as Aspacher cut the ribbon with the big ceremonial scissors.

Moms sign the first dollar at the new Culver’s restaurant in Bowling Green, with co-owner Ben Galaviz, left, his mother, Joy Schliewe, Kathy Schwinefus and her son and co-owner Dan Schwinefus.

Schwinefus talked about their dedication to quality food, and what is most popular and unique about the Culver’s menu.

“Our main side is fries, but whenever you talk to somebody from Ohio about Culver’s, it’s one of three options, it’s the burgers, frozen custard or cheese curds. But when you say the name Wisconsin, cheese curds come to mind,” Schwinefus said. “It’s a big hit, for everybody, but especially the high school kids and college kids. They will come in just for the cheese curds.”

The new restaurant has a wide variety of menu items including cheese curds, butter burgers, chicken sandwiches, chicken tenders, salad, fish, Rubens, melts, pot roast, soups and frozen custards.

“My dad, Ron, helped open four Hardee’s locations in Wisconsin, during the 1980s,” Schwinefus said. “When Culver’s came to town, growing up it was really defeating for us.”

He called opening his own Culver’s was “going full circle.”

He said there were too many Culver’s locations in Wisconsin, so they chose Bowling Green because of the people, who were a nice fit.

“It’s almost the same culture as Wisconsin. It’s still in the midwest. You have midwest hospitality,” Schwinefus said. “We came to Bowling Green because it felt like home.”

Bowling Green resident Brian Young said he was excited to see the new restaurant. He agreed that the Butter Burgers and cheese curds would be a hit in Bowling Green.

“Culver’s is a Wisconsin entity. I think BG is going to find it very good. Fast food. Fast casual,” Young said. “It’s a great burger. I’ve had it for 20 years. It’s been a little delicacy on the road, when I go home to Wisconsin. I haven’t lived in a town where I’ve had one. I’m very excited.”

Culver’s is located at 125 W. Gypsy Lane Road. Both dine-in and drive-thru will open seven days a week from 10 a.m.-10 p.m., closing only on the Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter holidays.

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