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At Fred’s Texas Café, the lunchtime crowds have been busy for years and the opening of a rival burger fast food joint down the street.
“It’s made us even busier,” said cook William Massey. “It brings in more traffic, more people know about us now. It’s not going to hurt us, they’re fast food and we’re a real café.”
If many of the trendy establishments along West 7th have a certain Dallas air, the developers have been smart enough to help preserve a few local institutions — in particular, Fred’s Texas Café.
“Fred’s is iconic, and from the beginning we could see it as what Fort Worth is all about,” Wheat said. “But from a business standpoint, Fred’s draws many people from the Westside neighborhoods. And we needed that crowd to come here, because we couldn’t rely on just the people who lived in our apartments.”
On that hot Saturday afternoon, Fred’s was packed. Not only was every booth in the cool interior occupied, but even the steamy patio was busy with folks pounding down beers, eating burgers, listening to music — but not wandering along West 7th in the sun.