Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers in downtown Lincoln is reopening on March 31 after a year of renovations.
Renovations started taking place in the restaurant, located on 201 N. 14th St., on March 17, 2020 shortly after the location had to shut down due to the pandemic, according to Greg Krumsick, area director of Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers.
“You know, people like to gather and eat and that’s what we’re really excited about,” Krumsick said. “We want to provide people an opportunity to sit down and have a meal, a hot fresh chicken finger meal served fast, clean, friendly.”
Krumsick said they gave the fast food chain business a refreshed look while preserving the distinct aspects of the building. He said he believes the building used to be an old Ford dealership years ago, and the remodeled look reflects the historical style of the location.
“We resurfaced the floors and we’re back to the historical building’s original concrete floors,” Krumsick said. “We’ve exposed the floor ceiling, all 13 feet, so now we have the original brick wall, which is on the west side that features our hand-painted Cane’s logo.”
Krumsick also said some changes have been made to parts of the interior such as replacing waiting benches with custom-made bar top seating. He said they added three more disco balls on the ceiling that are constantly rotating, a traditional touch of Raising Cane’s. The walls were recladded with vertical gray color and douglas fir wood. The new table tops were designed from salvaged car hoods.
The business plans on reopening with dine-in options. Krumsick said they will adhere to CDC recommendations by having tables placed six feet apart with a maximum capacity of six people per table and operating at 50% capacity. Mask regulations will be enforced as well, and staff will be thoroughly sanitizing and cleaning everything.
The chicken finger spot has been known to be a popular hub for University of Nebraska-Lincoln students. Krumsick said that not only students, but also specific clubs and athletic teams regularly come and eat at the restaurant.
“We have this big exposure in the windows, and everybody’s walking by and waving at us and giving us a thumbs up today,” Krumsick said. “We were talking about how exciting it is to come back and feel welcome.”
Gage Petersen, junior political science major, said the downtown area is his favorite, and he used to go there many times during his first two years of college.
“I love it, especially because there’s not a lot of fast food places there in downtown,” Petersen said. “The food’s always delicious and it’s just a beautiful spot for everyone to hangout at. Back in the day, it used to be open until 3 a.m., and all types of people on campus would go out there late at night on weekdays.”
Khloe Parsons, freshman chemical engineer, said she’s never been to the downtown location, but she always sees the building and wishes it was open.
“I personally enjoy Cane’s and it's a drive away to go to the other Cane’s, so it would be convenient to walk there, and I hope they have a sale when they reopen,” Parsons said.
Sophia Berglund, sophomore advertising and public relations major, said she does not understand the appeal for it but sees it as a great business opportunity for the owners.
“I’ve never been to the location in downtown because [the food is] greasy and it doesn’t look appetizing to me, but I know that there are many Cane’s fans on campus. It’s a great place for people to just hangout as well, so students will definitely be rushing there after the pandemic,” Berglund said.
With the grand re-opening, Raising Cane’s is looking for over 35 employees. Candidates who are interested can apply through the website.