Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers opened the first of  four new restaurants in the Colorado Springs area today.

The restaurant chain opened in Monument and franchisee Kyle Gerstner said he plans to begin construction on another along the Powers Boulevard corridor in June.

Freddy’s opened its first store in 2002 in Wichita, Kan. The Monument restaurant is the 59th to go up in Kanasas, Colorado, California, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, Texas and Oklahoma. It was recognized as the fifth fastest-growing franchise in the country by Technomics, according to a press  release.

Gerstner is from Wichita, and knows the family who started the original Freddy’s.  He has faith in the restaurant, and wanted to open his own group of Freddy’s in the Colorado Springs market.

“There’s another group of franchisees in Denver that have been really successful,” Gerstner said. “So we figured, why not continue it on down I-25?”

Gerstner said he sees several similarities between Colorado Springs and Wichita and expects the made-to-order steak burgers, rich custard and Vienna beef hotdogs to become as popular here as they were in his hometown.

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While it has a drive-through window, Gerstner said Freddy’s is also a sit-down restaurant where more than 70 percent of customers dine in.

He’s not sure yet where the remaining two stores will be located.

“Our development contract allows us to go anywhere in Colorado Springs, Monument, Fountain,” Gerstner said. “We’ll just have to see where the market is.”