WICHITA — What’s a man who oversees a chain of almost 90 restaurants do to kick-start his culinary creativity?
Start a new restaurant, of course.
Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers COO Scott Redler is a partner in the new Traqueros, a Mexican restaurant that’s opening next month at 11831 Metcalf Ave. in Overland Park.
“I’m involved from a conceptual point of view … but not from an operational standpoint,” Redler says.
“It’s a quick-casual concept,” he says. “Everything will be cooked to order. … It’s a Mexican restaurant with the same service style as a Pei Wei.”
His partners include Dave Dreiling and Bud and Bobby Cox.
Dreiling’s company, HCI Hospitality, will manage Traqueros.
Redler says his Freddy’s partners, Randy and Bill Simon, are fine with him being involved in another concept.
“They want me to keep getting creative. That’s part of my role,” Redler says. “This helps me just kind of reenergize and just understand everything else going on in the market.”
He adds, “Even some things I’ve done in Traqueros … have helped us with some of our decisions for Freddy’s.”
Redler isn’t involved with creating recipes, but he says, “I am involved in the tastings, so that’s fun.”
He calls the Cox brothers’ creations “food with pizzazz.”
Redler says Traqueros is named for the Hispanic laborers who built railroads in the United States from 1870 to 1930.
“The menu is based on bringing flavors from all over the South. That’s really where Bud and Bobby excel. They are flavor wizards.”
He says the restaurant is a burst of color as well.
Redler insists he and his partners aren’t already thinking of expanding into a chain.
“I really mean it. We just want to open it up, do a great job and see what happens. People who look past that make a big mistake.”
He says he and his Freddy’s partners were careful not to do that.
“We opened one Freddy’s,” Redler says. “Whoever dreamed we’d have 88 restaurants? None of us.”
He will admit to dreaming of having a full-service restaurant one day where he can hang out with friends, drink wine and greet guests.
“A hundred years from now when I’m ready to slow down, then I’ll do one for fun.”