Wooden Windmill is a family restaurant known for big food at a low price, specializing in prime rib and chicken entrees to Mexican fare and Baby Huey's BBQ.
"We've got everything you'd like on the menu," said Kevin Hulett, part of a local group of owners. "Our customers like the variety."
Wooden Windmill has been a restaurant in one form or another for more than 30 years. The local group of owners purchased it in 1999, keeping the menu at the time and adding to it.
"We added Baby Huey's BBQ. We started it here," Hulett said. "We went out on the BBQ circuit in Iowa, Kansas and around here. We added it to the menu and it was really successful. From there, Baby Huey's became a franchise."
Baby Huey's BBQ is now franchised in two locations. One is on West Military Avenue in Fremont and the other in Concordia, Kan.
The windmill out front was not part of the restaurant before it became Wooden Windmill. That came from Silver Creek, Neb. where it was the front of a gas station/ motel/cafe.
Mike Bridges is managing partner at Wooden Windmill. He was born and raised in Fremont, but he spent 15 years of his life as Director of Destination Services at the Phoenician, a five-star resort in Scottsdale, Ariz. He also previously worked as Director of Food and Beverage at the Lied Lodge and Conference Center and then as director of catering at the downtown Hilton Hotel in Omaha.
Bridges first encountered Wooden Windmill as a territory manager for Republic National Distributing Company in Omaha.
"He sold liquor to us," Hulett said.
Fremont was the hub of Bridges' territory and when one of the owners left, he jumped at the opportunity to become managing partner.
"I like the freedom and seeing the smile on people's faces," Bridges said. "Taking care of the customers and making them happy is what's important. People come to the restaurant to have family time and it's nice to be part of that."
As a wine expert, he is quick to help any customer select one of the more than 100 wines available in the package store and restaurant.
Customer favorites prime rib and chicken fried steak. Other favorites include the Southwest Campfire Chicken and Red Steak and Enchiladas.
"Blackened Prime Rib is definitely something we added," Hulett said. "Our BBG Brisket Burrito combines everything. We do the Big Red Sirloin as a special on game days, but it's always on the menu."
All steaks are hand-cut in-house from choice meat and is prepared in an Alto-Sham, an oven designed to slow cook meat.
"Catering is a big business here," Hulett said. "We do anything from pork sandwiches to wine dinners and we've done some very big caterings."
The catering service isn't limited to menu items.
"You can think of just about any kind of food and we'll take care of you," Bridges said. "I tell people we're a custom caterer."
That custom catering also includes anything from drop off to full-service.
"We're really starting to see a lot of people who like to dine in the lounge and get a good meal," Bridges said.
And, why not, with numerous large flat screen TVs showing a variety of sports - especially Husker games.
Wooden Windmill is open from 4:00-9:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 4:00-10:00 p.m. Friday & Saturday and 11:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m. Sunday. The liquor store is open 10:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 10:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For catering, call (402) 727-4444.