SYCAMORE – A long wait for Wendy’s to officially come back to Sycamore will soon come to an end, according to the new location’s owner, who confirmed the franchise will open at its new location next week.
Sean Niklas, president of Wendy’s franchisee Saren Restaurants, Inc., said the restaurant is giving away coupon books with 52 coupons for a free combo, breakfast or lunch and dinner, to the store’s first 100 customers on Saturday, Sept. 25. He said he has done that type of giveaway for other restaurant openings before and he recalled customers reaching out to him personally, saying how much those free meals helped in times of financial stress and that they “don’t know if we would have made it without these coupons.”
“I like to pay it forward as often as I can,” Niklas said.
Niklas said he was inspired to do it again largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, even though things are starting to “go back to a new kind of normal.” However, he said he knows there are some people who are still struggling.
“It’s just a way to give back to a community [that] hasn’t had a Wendy’s since 2015,” Niklas said. “We’re just excited to be part of the community, and we want to share in that excitement.”
Niklas said grand-opening festivities will include a live DJ on premises during the 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. lunch hour, along with other giveaways for Wendy’s branded hats, T-shirts and other merchandise.
A January 2015 fire destroyed the chain restaurant at its former East State Street location, and the building shell was demolished seven months later. At the time, fire officials estimated the damage to be about $500,000, or a total loss.
Sycamore city officials previously said Hardee’s left the DeKalb Avenue location.
Niklas owns the DeKalb location and closed on the Sycamore site, which was formerly Hardee’s, in December 2020.
Niklas previously said he knows the new Sycamore location, which will be the franchise’s 11th one, isn’t too far away from the Wendy’s in DeKalb. However, he had said, it could still take longer than expected to get from one to the other with a lot of stoplights in between the two sites.
Niklas said anyone interested in keeping up-to-date with news about the opening can follow the Facebook pages My Sycamore Wendy’s and Saren Restaurants Inc.
Niklas said the crew management assembled “a great team” with employees who are “excited to be part of the opening” – especially “given nationwide staffing challenges,” he said. He also said he was heartened to see excitement building up on the restaurant’s social media channels leading up to the grand opening next week.
“We’re really thrilled and excited to be part of the Sycamore community,” Niklas said. “And we are humbled by the outpouring of support.”