Nearly two years after a devastating F5 tornado ravaged Freddy’s, the restaurant is returning to Joplin, Missouri.
The new, freestanding location is about one mile south of the former site. The official grand opening is Sunday, May 5, and the crew has been training for the past several days.
“Going through this experience has been tough, but as always, good people stick together and remind you that rebuilding is possible,” says franchise operator Jason Ingermanson. “We appreciate the many supportive neighbors in Joplin who have stayed in touch with us over the last two years while we worked through demolition of the former site, our search for a new location, and the rebuilding process.
“We were blessed to survive the tornado with only property damage,” he continues. “The restaurant was full at the time of the tornado and many of our guests credit general manager Meagan Snider with saving their life. I am so proud of Meagan and so glad that she is still with us—she is still the store’s general manager, and this is a very emotional accomplishment for her, as well”.
Guests who survived the tornado in Freddy’s restroom will be among the first to dine in the new location. Several of them also participated in a check presentation ceremony with company namesake Freddy Simon a couple of months after the tornado.
Freddy’s collected money at stores across the country and donated more than $17,000 to the Greater Ozarks Red Cross.
“This is a full-circle moment for Freddy’s. We’ve been touched by the enthusiasm of our Joplin guests, who’ve awaited our return with so much anticipation,” says Freddy’s COO Scott Redler. “At each point of this process, we’ve been blessed by members of our hard-working team, who kept pushing forward when things got tough.
“We’ve all had the same goal in mind and we can’t wait to open our doors,” he adds. “Hearing the first steakburgers hit the grill and watching the fresh, creamy custard being churned fresh in the store is truly an honor and a blessing”.