By Kylie Balk-Yaatenen - March 16th 2024



The fate of a Famous Dave’s restaurant in the 3000 block of Milton Avenue, which is proposed to be demolished and replaced with drive-thru restaurant Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers, will be the focus of a public hearing Monday before the city of Janesville’s Plan Commission.

SGAS Holdings LLC, of Hermosa Beach, Calif., which owns the property at the juncture of Milton Avenue and Humes Road where Famous Dave’s now operates via a lease with SGAS, recently submitted plans to the city to build a brand new restaurant at 3030 Milton Ave., razing Famous Dave’s in the process.

The property is along a heavily-retail stretch on Janesville northeast side, with one of the highest traffic volumes in the city, and just moments off Interstate I-39/90.

SGAS Holdings LLC, also has corporate ties to Texas and Delaware.

The public hearing will be at 6 p.m. Monday, March 18, at Janesville City Hall, 18 N. Jackson St.

Famous Dave’s Manager Dominique Shopa Olsen told The Gazette in February that it still had an active lease and had not been told by SGAS Holdings, its landlord, that it was being kicked off the site. Shopa Olsen said local management had not been informed that Famous Dave’s was closing, only learning that via local media reports.

A different Famous Dave’s manager told The Gazette on Thursday that he knows at least two Famous Dave’s workers who plan to attend Monday’s meeting. He said business has remained steady at Famous Dave’s since news got out that it might be displaced by Raising Cane’s.

Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers has over 750 locations across the United States including one restaurant in Madison. Based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, it specializes in chicken fingers and would be the fifth chicken restaurant to open in the Milton Avenue and Humes Road area on Janesville’s northeast side.

Shopa Olsen said in February that Famous Dave’s management was in talks with its corporate office about next steps and she urged local residents to speak up on the situation at the March 18 public hearing.

“People should come out to show support for the only Wisconsin-based barbecue restaurant to be replaced with another chain,” Olsen said.

Duane Cherek, manger of planning services for the city of Janesville, told The Gazett in February that prior to the March 18 meeting being scheduled, city staff was not in communication with either the current nor prospective tenants.

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