Diners in Denison may soon have a new option when looking for a place to eat out in Gateway Village. The Denison Planning and Zoning Commission approved early plans Tuesday morning for the city’s first Culver’s restaurant, which will be located near the intersection of FM 691 and U.S. Highway 75.

“We wanted to thank city staff for help and guidance with this process and we are very excited about this project,” Chris McGuire, representing Wisconsin-based McCon Building Corporation, said Tuesday.

The site plan request was approved unanimously with little discussion by the commission and only McGuire speaking briefly during the public hearing.

The Wisconsin-based restaurant chain opened the doors to its first location in 1984. The chain’s menu includes its signature “ButterBurgers,” frozen custard and fried cheese curds, among other offerings.

The chain has grown to over 700 locations in 25 states, with 11 currently in Texas. In addition to the Denison location, one other restaurant has also been greenlit, which will bring the total to 13 in Texas, company officials said Tuesday. Outside of the Denison location, the chain also currently has a franchise operating in McKinney.

McGuire said the new Denison location will be owned by the same franchisee as the McKinney location. Once completed, the Denison restaurant will be able to seat 102 patrons in the dining room, he said.

The new restaurant will be built on the corner of Gateway Boulevard and FM 691, within the ongoing Gateway Village development. Planning documents submitted to the city call for a 4,200-square-foot building constructed from cultured stone and exterior insulation and finish system, more commonly known as EIFS.

The commission’s approval for the site plan included an allowance to use EIFS, which cannot be used on the first floor of buildings in Gateway Village. The planning documents indicate that the applicant has spoken with master developers with Gateway Village, who have voiced approval for the alternate material.

The request for the new restaurant comes nearly one month after the commission approved plans for a mixed retail and restaurant space with a drive-thru window directly north of the Culver’s site. In total, the city has approved planning for three potential restaurant spaces in Gateway Village in recent months.

During talks regarding the latest mixed-use development, Denison officials said the mixed-use project would feature less parking than recommended under city zoning, but this would be made up by additional parking on adjoining lots. Denison Planning Director Steven Doss said the site plan for the Culver’s location does include additional parking beyond city requirements.

Representatives for the restaurant chain said it is too early to give many details about the project, including any possible opening date, but said details would be available in the coming weeks. Regarding construction alone, McGuire said the project would take about 20 weeks to build.

“I can confirm that a franchisee has plans to open a Culver’s restaurant in your area, but given that the plans aren’t quite finalized at this point, he doesn’t have information to provide,” Paul Pitas, director of public relations and communications for Culver’s, said. “We may have more details in a few weeks.”