Fairfield latest location to get Freddy’s frozen custard, steakburgers

The fast-casual restaurant opened on South Gilmore on Tuesday.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Fairfield residents and visitors now can get one of Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburger’s famous creations.

Freddy’s is the latest chain restaurant to open along the busy Fairfield South Gilmore Road corridor that sees about 35,000 vehicles a day, and that has city officials “pretty excited,” said Mayor Mitch Rhodus.

South Gilmore has slowly evolved over the years with redevelopment projects ― the much-discussed former Forest Fair Mall being the most prominent ― and new development projects, such as the planned Mercy Health-Fairfield expansion for the corner of Mack and South Gilmore.

The new Freddy’s location is at 6225 S. Gilmore Road and along the Winton Road/South Gilmore corridor, next to Meijer and just north of Interstate 275 and the city’s border with Forest Park. It’s the third franchise to open in what’s known as the Meijer-Gilmore PUD since 2019.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Chick-fil-A opened in 2019, and Dunkin’ Donuts opened in 2021.

Development Services Director Greg Kathman called this opening a “substantial investment in our community. We anticipate that this location will be quite successful.”

Freddy’s is a fast-casual concept and known for its cooked-to-order steakburgers made with lean 100 percent ground beef, all-beef hot dogs, crispy shoestring fries and frozen custard treats made with freshly churned chocolate or vanilla frozen custard.

“The steady flow of traffic on Gilmore Road makes it a great fit for Freddy’s,” said franchise owner Dominic Gatta, CEO of DJ Hospitality Group. “We look forward to being a convenient dining option for travelers along I-275, as well as those looking for a quick place to eat after shopping at our retail neighbors.”

Gatta said the city of Fairfield has been “great to work” going through the development process, from construction to opening.

The Fairfield location is DJ Hospitality Group’s 15th Freddy’s across the state “with many more planned,” Gatta said, adding that it’s special to be “part of the community.”

“This isn’t just a team, you’re building a family, you’re becoming part of that community,” he said on opening day Tuesday morning. “It’s great to see everyone smiling, opening day is just great.”

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

There are more than 500 Freddy’s locations nationwide. This is the first in the Cincinnati-Dayton region for DJ hospitality. There are several Freddy’s locations in southwest Ohio owned by other franchisees, the closest to Fairfield being in West Chester Twp.

“Freddy’s is known as a better burger restaurant,” said Gatta. “We provide high-quality, cooked-to-order menu items in a fun and comfortable environment. When you walk in, you can expect a warm greeting, and you’ll experience genuine hospitality we call the ‘Freddy’s Way.’ Our menu is customizable, and many of our regular guests enjoy crafting the perfect dish of custard with their favorite toppings.”

Though Rhodus said he still seeks a steakhouse to open in Fairfield, something he campaigned on in the 2022 election, he joked Freddy’s steakburgers partially counts as a campaign promise fulfilled.

The Freddy’s project received city approval in 2022 for a restaurant with an outdoor patio and drive-thru window. They broke ground for the new store in March 2023, and the finished building is 2,198 square feet that can seat 56 guests in addition to the drive-thru and carry-out service.

Mobile ordering through the Freddy’s app and website is also available, and they’ll operate 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays to Thursdays and 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers was founded in Wichita, Kansas, in 2002, and was No. 23 on Fast Casual’s Top 100 Movers and Shakers, No. 70 on Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500, No. 78 on Entrepreneur’s 2023 Fastest-Growing Franchises.

Photojournalist Nick Graham contributed to this story.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

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