New Kennewick steakhouse aims to fill missing niche

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When a food lover takes a hard look at the Tri-City restaurant scene, a glaring omission in the region is a lack of steakhouses.

A lot of people have told me it’s nice to have a steakhouse at this end of town.

Jeff Ballard, co-owner of Fredy's Steakhouse

Jeremy Thelin, Wayne Walton and Jeff Ballard wanted to change that.

They opened Fredy’s Steakhouse on Feb. 3 at 3617 Plaza Way in south Kennewick.

Thelin and Walton are the owners, while Ballard is the general manager.

The location marks the fourth time a restaurant has operated in that location since 2011. The three previous restaurants were Picazo 717, Fujiyama Steak House & Bar, and Mai House.

So far, the new restaurant is doing well, Ballard said.

“A lot of people have told me it’s nice to have a steakhouse at this end of town,” he said. “They’re happy with the size and flavor of our steaks.”

Thelin and Walton are Tri-Citians who once owned the Folded Pie in Richland before selling it. In the past few years, they have bought two restaurants in Spokane, Wasabi and Ginger – both Asian sushi restaurants.

“They like running restaurants, and they live here in the Tri-Cities,” Ballard said. “The location seemed to work out, especially with the planned (Fairchild Cinemas) coming near Walmart on 27th.”

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Jeffrey Morrow

Jeffrey Morrow

Jeff Morrow retired from the Tri-City Herald in 2015. Jeff spent 30 years on the Herald’s sports staff, including the last 19 as the sports editor. Although he likes to write, Jeff still finds time to travel, golf and take care of his family’s three dogs. He and his wife of 31 years, Connie, have two adult daughters.

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