Springfield will soon have three Spaghetti Shop locations again, although the ownership has changed. Brian Carter, a Navy veteran whose background is in construction, purchased the business last December after a chance encounter with his former employer, Calvin Kirk.
“I worked for Calvin when I was 16 years old at the Sangamon location,” said Carter. “I ran into him in October of last year and reintroduced myself.” Carter said he’s always wanted to open a Spaghetti Shop, and tried to start a location in Bloomington several years ago but couldn’t get the financing worked out. Then his former boss told him the Sangamon store was for sale.
At one time, Kirk operated three Spaghetti Shop restaurants in Springfield, but eventually scaled back to the original location at 1869 E. Sangamon Ave., which has been in business for 30 years. Now Carter sees an opportunity to increase the footprint in both Springfield and the surrounding communities.
A second Springfield location is slated for 3114 S. Sixth St., a space that was most recently occupied by Pizza Hut. “I’ve been hiring people and getting them trained at Sangamon so I can move them to Sixth Street,” said Carter. “I’ve also got a store going up in Champaign that will open in a few months.”
In addition, Carter has signed a lease for space in the strip center at Koke Mill Road and Iles Avenue anchored by Brickhouse Pub & Grill. The endcap space, which previously housed a hair salon, will allow for a pickup window.
“Even prior to COVID, 90% of our business was carryout,” Carter said, explaining that he has no qualms about opening additional restaurants in the current business climate. An Aug. 3 opening is planned for the South Sixth Street location.