WEST LIBERTY —
For more than 50 years, the Freezer Fresh withstood competition from the chain restaurants that moved into this Morgan County city.
However, the burger-and-shake joint on Prestonsburg Street was no match for the EF-3 tornado that wiped out most of downtown West Liberty on March 2.
But now, a bit more than six months after the twister, the Freezer Fresh is back up and running.
The restaurant, which has been in business since 1958, held its grand re-opening on Thursday.
Morgan County Judge-Executive Tim Conley said the return of one of the town’s iconic symbols marked a significant step in West Liberty’s recovery.
However, Conley — who used to take his Little League teams to the Freezer Fresh after games — said he had a more personal reason to be happy about the eatery’s return.
“I definitely can’t wait to get my butterscotch milk shake!” he said last week. “It pleases me to see many of our businesses return, but my heart — well, my stomach — is very happy to see the Freezer Fresh come back.”
Long-time Freezer Fresh patron Patsy Hensley said the Freezer Fresh “is the heart of the county as far as I’m concerned.
"The Freezer Fresh is our landmark,” she said. “It's the place where we'd gather after ballgames and church on Sundays and where my dad would bring me.”
The restaurant has been owned for the past 25 years by Janet Franklin and her husband. Franklin told WYMT-TV she and her husband were past retirement age, but wanted to bring the eatery back to give the people of Morgan County something to be happy about.
“It was just to bring a little joy back to this sad little town,” she said.
The restaurant employed 12 prior to the tornado, and, on opening day, every employee who worked there before came back, Franklin said.
Video By Hardy Breeding/Morehead State's Convergent Media
KENNETH HART can be reached at email@example.com or (606) 326-2654.