A new restaurant chain plans to bring frozen custard and steakburgers to Denison — its first Texoma location south of the Red River. Officials with Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers recently announced plans to open a new Texoma location along Morton Street and U.S. 75, just south of Walmart.

“At Freddy’s, we focus on fast, friendly service and genuine hospitality,” Allison Schultz, public relations coordinator for Freddy’s, said via email. “We’re known for those qualities at our DFW locations, and our guests in Denison can expect to receive that same quality dining experience. We strive to bring more than just another place to eat in the community by making an effort to become familiar with our guests and their stories, as well as their favorite menu items.”

The development was discussed during a Denison Planning and Zoning meeting Tuesday morning. The request of Mark Thompson, a franchisee with Freddy’s, for a site plan review for the lot at 211 N. U.S. Hwy. 75 was unanimously approved by the commission.

Meeting documents outline plans to build a 4,250-square-foot restaurant with a maximum occupancy of 120. Thompson declined to comment on the project Monday, noting that he was out of the country. He said it will be “quite a while” before development on the project is completed, but gave no timeline for construction.

Cindy McKeown, representing Fox Engineering, said that developers were unable to gain cross access to property to the south, as is required. In order to make up for this, McKeown said developers have added a second driveway to the property to allow for increased flow and access. This has been met with no opposition from the Texas Department of Transportation, she said.

The Kansas-based restaurant chain was first opened in 2002 and is named after the father of two of its creators. As of Monday, the chain boasts 257 locations, with plans to reach a 300 store count by the end of 2017. Currently, the closest Freddy’s location is in The Colony, but the company’s website lists a Wylie location as coming soon.

“Freddy’s is a fast-casual restaurant concept that brings to life the America of the late 1940s and early 1950s, a post-war era of pride and values focusing on unity and quality family time,” Schultz said. “Menu items are cooked to order and include lean ground beef steakburgers, Vienna Beef hot dogs and creamy frozen custard treats.”

Schultz said construction of the restaurant is expected to start soon, and a formal development timeline would be announced at that time. For this location, Schultz said the restaurant chain plans to hire 80 local individuals.

During Tuesday’s meeting, McKeown said planning documents should be submitted within the next week, with construction taking place soon after. She added that bids for construction are already taking place, with an estimated construction time of about four months.

When asked about the choice in location, Schultz said the nearby development and area neighborhoods make the site an ideal place for the franchise.

“U.S. Hwy. 75 and Morton Street is a high-traffic area anchored by Walmart, (and is) surrounded by family-friendly neighborhoods,” she said. “These characteristics make for an overall great match for our family-oriented concept.”

Development of the project was first discussed by Denison officials in February during monthly staff reports of the Denison Development Alliance. DDA Vice President William Myers said he hopes that the addition of the restaurant will help create diversity and strength in Denison’s retail community.

“Consumers tend to go where they find quality and choices,” Myers said. “Every new business in Denison helps. More restaurants in Denison will enhance choices for consumers, help reduce our retail leakage and improve retail synergy in Denison. In recent years, restaurant prospects have only been interested in the FM 120 corridor east and west of Hwy. 75. But now there are several prospects seriously considering sites north and south along the Hwy. 75 corridor. Freddy’s is the first to make it to P&Z.”