Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

New hamburger restaurant opening near campus

East Evans Avenue is going from hot dogs to hamburgers.

CKE Restaurants has announced plans to open a Carl’s Jr. store at 1535 E. Evans Ave. on the northwest corner of Evans and Franklin. The site was previously the home of Wienerschnitzel, a hot dog stand that closed at that location last year.

Steve Rosenfield, who owns about 50 restaurants in Colorado and northern California, says Carl’s is expected to begin a major remodeling of the building in the next few weeks and hopes to open in mid- to late September.

“We’re gutting the interior and fitting our image with the building,” he says, noting that the site has only about 1,500 square feet of available space compared to the 2,600 square feet at a traditional Carl’s restaurant. Rosenfield describes it as a “mini-Carl’s Jr.” that will have a “cozier environment.” Even so, the menu will be the same and the existing drive-through window retained.

Now the fourth-largest hamburger chain nationally, Carl’s Jr. began in 1956 in California. The stores were named Carl’s Jr. because they were smaller versions of Carl’s Drive-in Barbeque, the flagship restaurant opened by Carl Karcher in Anaheim, Calif. in 1945.

There are now more than 1,049 Carl’s Jr. restaurants in 13 states in addition to Hardee’s, Green Burrito and La Salsa Fresh Mexican Grill stores, which the company also owns.

“We consider ourselves a quality fast-food alternative,” Rosenfield says, noting that consumer expectations have pushed the chain to emphasize quality ingredients and healthy alternatives.

“We have a great salad line and the best kept secret is our breakfast line,” he says. “We take a lot of pride in our stores and we’ll be a good citizen for the DU community.”

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