BRISTOL, Va. — For a brand new restaurant, Freddy’s has a very old-fashioned feel.
From the bright colors and some soda fountain-style seating to flattened burger patties and traditional condiments, the latest addition to The Falls commercial center has plenty of nostalgic touches.
Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers held a “soft” opening Wednesday at its third Tri-Cities location. It is the second business to open in The Falls this week, following Buffalo Wild Wings, which held its grand opening on Monday. The two restaurants occupy opposite ends of a multi-tenant structure across from Lowe’s and Cabela’s constructed by J.A. Street & Associates.
Caroline Booth, of Bristol, was surprised to be the first customer Wednesday morning.
“I’ve never been to a Freddy’s before and I wanted to come try it out,” she said while enjoying an “original double” sandwich. “It’s good. It’s what you call an old-fashioned burger.”
The “original double” is a Freddy’s menu staple and includes two lean ground beef patties pressed thin on a flat-top grill, cooked to order and topped with cheese, mustard, pickles and onion.
Director of Operations Angie Batch said quality is what separates Freddy’s from other eateries.
“It’s the freshness value of what we bring; the value of what we serve – it’s a high-quality product from the steakburger process to the custard process. Our staff is energetic and customer-oriented,” Batch said.
General Manager Sherry Dishner also emphasized quality.
“Our steakburgers don’t come in frozen. They’re cooked to order and it’s a procedure that sets us apart. Everything is cooked to order and handcrafted,” Dishner said.
While steakburger options dominate the menu – in single, double or triple - other choices include chicken sandwiches, chicken tenders, hot dogs, Philly cheesesteaks and a veggie burger. Diners can select from side items ranging from shoestring fries and onion rings to fried pickles.
Desserts include a wide range of sundaes based on vanilla or chocolate custard and feature more than 50 toppings, plus milkshakes and other frozen treats.
The 3,300-square-foot restaurant has seating for about 100 and employs about 75 people from the Twin City, Abingdon and Saltville.
There are 235 locations in 30 states.
Batch said they are excited about the new location, which complements similar Freddy’s in Kingsport and Johnson City.
“We think it’s a really good choice for us. We looked at other places to round out our Tri-Cities area,” Batch said. “The community has been fantastic to work with and have been really open about us coming into The Falls. I think this will be a great development overall. We’re new and we’re excited to be here. We’re one of the first ones in and we think that is a win-win for us.”
The location fits the company’s demographics “perfectly,” Batch said
“With the houses and schools close by, we’ll do a lot of fundraisers with them so this just fits our demographics,” she said.
Freddy’s is now open from 10:30 a.m. until 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Drive-through service is also available.
A formal ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned for Dec. 20 at 10:30 a.m.