Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers is opening the first of perhaps a bundle of Chicago locations on Tuesday in Rogers Park, just north of the CTA’s Red Line Loyola Station. Founder Todd Graves opened the first location 21 years ago in Baton Rouge, Louisiana near Louisiana State University. Graves found success near college campuses and continues that strategy as his new Chicago location will serve hungry Loyola University students until 3:30 a.m. Thursday through Saturday at 6568 N. Sheridan Road.
This location is a newer urban design. There’s no need to make space for a drive-thru like at suburban locations. Raising Cane’s opens its first Chicago-area store last year and has five suburban restaurants. The Chicago spot has an open kitchen and plenty of Loyola University merchandise. There’s even a reference to comedian Bob Newhart, perhaps the most famous Loyola alum.
The 3,100-square-foot space has seating for about 80. There’s three disco balls on the ceiling. Apparently, Graves installed a disco ball at the first location to cover up a skylight and it has been a tradition since. There’s also nods to Grave’s career before Cane’s. There’s a salmon prop on the wall as Graves was a commercial fisherman in Alaska.
When the Naperville location opened last year, the longest customers waited was about an hour with lines that wrapped twice around the restaurant. The buzz will likely be bigger for Chicago, Raising Cane’s staff believes. Take a tour through the space below.