(Editor's note: This story has been updated throughout.)
After nearly seven months of development and construction, Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers will start serving at its new Denison location — the first Texoma location south of the Red River — Tuesday. With the new location near the intersection of Morton Street and U.S. Highway 75, representatives for the fast-casual chain said they hope to bring the company’s signature frozen treats and steakburgers to a new market.
“It’s always exciting to open in a brand new market, and reach new guests who may not have tried our concept before,” Freddy’s Public Relations Specialist Kim Huynh said in an email Monday. “We look forward to getting to know and serving the Denison community.”
During a visit to the restaurant Monday, crews with the restaurant were busy finishing the last touches, wiping down the signature red tables and cleaning the floors in anticipation of the opening the next day. Franchise owner Mark Thompson said crews of more than 80 employees have been busy with on-site training at the new location since last Thursday.
As the opening of the new restaurant has approached, Thompson said he has had more and more guests approach the restaurant and try to open the door, thinking it was already open. This has only increased since the restaurant’s signage was installed a few weeks ago, he said.
It was in May last year that officials with the Kansas-based restaurant chain announced plans to open a Denison location in May when a request for the site was unanimously approved by the Denison Planning and Zoning Commission. Construction on the 4,250-foot-building started in late July, and concluded last month, Thompson said.
Initially, representatives planned to open the Denison location by the end of 2017, but weather in late August and early September slowed the pouring of concrete and delayed the project. Thompson said the company held off opening the location until after the holiday season, he said.
Freddy’s was founded in 2002 by Scott Redler and brothers Bill and Randy Simon. The Simon Brothers’ father Freddy Simon served as the namesake for the restaurants. Since then, the chain of restaurants has spread to 31 states with a total of 284 restaurants as of Monday.
With this latest restaurant, Freddy’s Area Director Matt Gierhart said the chain is looking to expand its foothold into the Texas market. While the closest Freddy’s location is in Ardmore, the chain also has six locations in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, including a recently-opened location in The Colony. During Monday’s interview, Gierhart said the chain is also planning a new location in Durant.
“We view North Texas as an untapped market with great potential,” Gierhart said. “When we looked at this area, we noticed that it lacked a Freddy’s and something different from the norm, so to speak.”
When scouting for the Denison location, Gierhart said the location off of Morton Street had many benefits, including its proximity to the Denison Walmart. Recent changes to the highway ramps near the intersection also made it more attractive to developers by increasing access to open lots in the area, he said.
With regard to its products, Gierhart said the restaurant will be serving the chain’s signature steakburgers, hot dogs and frozen “concrete” treats and shakes made from the frozen custard. Compared to traditional ice cream, Gierhart said the frozen custard includes more egg and butter fat in the recipe making it thicker and richer.
“We work to remove all the air from the batch, but with ice cream you work to incorporate more air,” he said.