Hardee's is coming to Northwest Indiana

Hardee's debuted its new "Most American Thickburger" with hot dog meat and chips in 2015.

Jason Hatchcock, AP photo

Hardee's is bringing its charboiled thickburgers to  Northwest Indiana.

The St. Louis-based fast-food chain is planning to open six hamburger restaurants across northern Indiana, including one in LaPorte, over the next six years. The first location is already under construction in Lafayette, but there's not currently a timetable or schedule for the LaPorte eatery.

“Hardee’s has a long and successful history of combining popular great American tastes, and we are excited to expand this best-in-class brand within Indiana,” new franchise owner Farooq Shah said. “The South Bend and Lafayette communities are full of diverse palates and those who crave variety and value, and we’re confident that the expansive options of the Hardee’s menu, fit for the adventurous diner and full of Handmade American Classics will be well received by both.”

Hardee's, which is branded as Carl's Jr. in some parts of the U.S., has 26 locations in Indiana, but all of them are downstate. It previously had locations in Merrillville, Portage and Rensselaer, but they've all since closed.

Currently, the closest Hardee's location is in South Holland, at the River Oaks Drive interchange on Interstate 94.

The chain has a menu that includes thickburgers, hand-breaded chicken tenders and breakfast biscuits. Hardee's discontinued its well-known sit-down restaurant-quality Six Dollar Burger last year, and is also known for towering burgers stacked high with other meats, such as pastrami, steak or sliced-up hot dogs. 

It once courted controversy with racy television commercials designed to appeal to the young male demographic that makes up much of its customer base, but has recently distanced itself from that approach with ad campaigns that focus more on the quality of the food.

5
1
7
5
21

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.