Longtime eatery and drive-in Fred's Frozen Custard and Grill in Milwaukee's Washington Heights neighborhood will soon have new owners, but the 52-year-old concept is tapped to remain a neighborhood favorite.
Sam Kassel and Alex Ogden plan to buy the business and its 4726 W. Vliet St. property this fall from current owners Jim and Carol Carter, who plan to retire after operating Fred's for the past nine years.
Kassel and Ogden have applied for a $250,000 loan from the Milwaukee Economic Development Corporation to help fund that purchase and to make minor improvements to the building. MEDC will review the loan request during a June 19 meeting.
Despite the change in ownership, Fred's overall appearance and beloved concept will stay the same, Kassel said.
"We really want to keep it as the neighborhood gem that it is," she said.
Residents of the Washington Heights area, the couple had always been interested in taking over the popular burger and custard shop. So when the business went up for sale earlier this year, they seized the opportunity to become Fred's fifth generation owners, she said.
The couple also owns Milwaukee-based FourOneFour Events, which plans events for area nonprofit organizations and hosts 5K runs throughout the state.
Kassel said she is planning a few additions to Fred's menu, such as soups during winter months and vegetarian options.
Fred's will be open all summer and does not plan to close during the ownership transition.
"Our goal is to keep everything running business as usual," she said.