Wendy’s to return to campus by end of next year

The slogan “Where’s the beef?” — a phrase made famous by Wendy’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers — will soon find an answer on campus.

Wendy’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers will open a two-story restaurant on the corner of Sixth and Green streets, according to a news release. JSM Development said in the release that the beef will be available by the end of the year, when the restaurant opens for business.

Jill Guth, JSM director of development, said that when Mike Allegro, owner of 16 Wendy’s franchises, heard about the vacant space at 608 S. Sixth St., he contacted her saying he wanted to bring Wendy’s back to campus.

With Wendy’s Company’s approval, Allegro is on schedule to open his 17th Wendy’s franchise — his first Wendy’s on a college campus.

“I’m very comfortable opening on campus in Champaign,” Allegro said. “I think Wendy’s is a quality brand, and by bringing it to campus, it will add more value to students’, residents’, and faculty’s experience of campus town.”

As a new business on campus, Allegro said he hopes to be active in the community.

“We definitely want to be involved in the community and college activity,” he said. “We want to be part of the growth in Champaign.”

Owners of local restaurants, including Chipotle, Firehaus and Murphy’s Pub, declined to comment on the opening of Wendy’s. The general manager of Noodles & Company was not available for comment, and the request for comment from Mia Za’s was not returned.

Wendy’s was previously located at 528 E. Green St. but closed in the mid-1990s. The space is now occupied by Chipotle Mexican Grill and Noodles & Company.

Construction is scheduled to start within two to three weeks, Allegro said.

Right now, Allegro said he is concentrating only on this location. He said he would like to take advantage of any future opportunities to open more Wendy’s franchises in the Champaign community if the opportunity presents itself.

The new franchise will offer employment opportunities to residents in the area. According to the release, “the Campustown store will be employing up to 30 customer service positions and a full-time management team.”

Jessica can be reached at [email protected]