Hungry students will soon have a new place to satisfy their late night hunger as Wendy’s prepares for its grand opening on March 3.

The plans are for the restaurant to be open from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 3 a.m. Friday through Saturday. The Wendy’s will be located at 534 State St., replacing the former home of Full of Bull Famous Roast Beef, which was also previously occupied by a KFC and Taco Bell.

“We are very excited to bring Wendy’s quality, menu variety and value to serve on State Street,” Greg Castillo, director of area operations for Bridgeman Food Companies, said in a statement Wednesday.

Andre Bynum, Bridgeman Food Companies spokesperson, said the Madison area was home to Wendy’s 15 years ago, but the particular location did not work out. As soon as this opportunity presented itself, Bynum said, they were happy to take advantage of the opening.

Bynum said the restaurant will be a comfortable place for students to relax and study.

“We’re going to be totally engaged. The store is going to be all Wi-Fi ready, is going to be conducive to people studying and we’re going to have some very comfortable seating,” he said. “There’s going to be Badger red in terms of decor. It’s more customer friendly decor.”

Bynum said Wendy’s is also looking forward to giving students some opportunities for part-time jobs while they attend school.

Amid concerns that fast-food chains hurt the local businesses downtown, Mary Carbine, executive director of Madison’s Business Improvement District, said the restaurant would likely not change the area’s dynamic.

“The downtown has remained at about 85 percent locally owned businesses since I started working here in 2006,” Carbine said. “Wendy’s will not change that percentage because it is simply replacing another non-locally owned business.”

Carbine said larger chain businesses have been present on State Street since the 1980s and have never really affected the small businesses. She said national companies like Wendy’s contribute to a healthy business mix downtown.

Having chain businesses provides stability for customers from out of town who are looking for familiarity, Carbine said.

Although the restaurant carries the Wendy’s banner, Bynum said it is actually locally owned in Milwaukee. He said many of their stores are locally owned and operated in Wisconsin, so they consider themselves a local company.

Sheila Miicke, spokesperson for Bridgeman Foods, said the company is run by Junior Bridgeman, a former NBA player whose number has been retired by the Milwaukee Bucks. Miicke said Bridgeman is the company’s president and owns and operates more than 230 Wendy’s restaurants, 46 of which are in Wisconsin.

According to the statement, Wendy’s was the first restaurant chain to offer drive-through service and is known for its hamburgers, chicken sandwiches and line of salads.

 [Photo via flickr user Calgary Reviews]

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