25 years later, a new cafe comes with an old friend

Six years ago, a little place called Fresh Country Café opened up in Zephyrhills.  About 20 years before that, its owner Mike was going through the fire academy with Brian McDougal.

“That’s when the fire instructor paired Mike up with me and the instructor told Mike, he says, ‘OK, it’s your job to pull him out of the burning building,’ and Mike freaked out. He’s like, ‘Have you seen the size of this guy?!’” recalled Brian.

“Yeah, I mean, no offense, you’re a bigger dude,” FOX 13’s Chip Brewster told Brian.

“I’m 6-foot-3,” Brian agreed.

“And he’s a smaller dude, again no offense. How did that work out?” Chip asked.

“It didn’t,” Brian replied with a laugh.

So imagine Brian’s surprise when roughly 25 years after that experience, he ran into his old academy buddy by pure coincidence.

“My wife and I, we go out and we find different places to eat and we found this little place called Fresh Country Café. Just as soon as I walk in the door I see my old friend from the fire academy and it was like we had never been apart. So I’m like ‘Holy smokes, man, what are you doing here?’ ‘I own it’ ‘No way!’” recalled Mike.

Beyond the rekindled friendship, Brian also found a new favorite restaurant which he says the friendship has nothing to do with.


Fresh Country Café
5520 Gall Blvd
Zephyrhills, FL 33542

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