ON THE MENU — Fast Freddy’s closes in Nederland; check out details of what’s coming next

Published 12:28 am Sunday, August 7, 2022

A popular Nederland dining location will soon have a different look.

For many years, Fast Freddy’s was located at 3113 Nederland Avenue. After the owners decided to sell the building, local businessman Joe Aref acted quickly to buy it in June, shortly after Fast Freddy’s permanently closed.

Aref said he knew just who to contact to lease the building. He recently went into business with the owners El Viejo Tony Mexican Bar and Grill to open the Beaumont location.

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“Nederland Avenue is a pretty strong street,” Aref said. “If I see a location come up, especially if it has potential, I try to get on it. It is landlocked, but every once in a while you will see something pop up. That is my forte. I like to find something old and revamp it.”

Aref said Fidel Lopez, Juana Magana and Jose Garcia will open Juanita’s Country Kitchen at the location in the coming months.

The new restaurant will be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. and will have a diner feel, serving breakfast all day and offer a lunch menu.

“They will have chicken-fried steak, eggs, omelets and stuff like that,” Aref said. “They are big in the restaurant business. I am more on the real estate side of it. Bringing them in and getting them going over there, you can say it is guaranteed to be successful since they know the business and know how to operate restaurants to the ‘T.’ I think Nederland needs something like that, a little breakfast-type spot.”

Nederland Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Diana LaBorde said she is excited for the building’s next chapter.

“I am sad to see Fast Freddy’s go because they were awesome,” she said. “They had great food. I am glad to see that building won’t sit empty for a long time. That is a great company that is moving in. I am thrilled to death. We don’t have enough places that serve breakfast. Just to have a great restaurant on that end of town will be nice.”

LaBorde said commercial business space can move quickly in Nederland.

“There has been a huge surge in interest in commercial space in Nederland,” she said. “A lot of that goes to Kay DeCuir over at the EDC. Our city is also very welcoming to new businesses. Our people go out and support new businesses.”

Aref said he was also a big fan of Fast Freddy’s and wanted to make sure that he could replace the eatery with something that would be equally revered.

Juanita’s Country Kitchen will have a bigger footprint. Aref said he added 1,000 square feet of space to the building, along with a remodel of the interior and exterior.

The new eatery is tentatively set to open in October.