It’s been a turbulent few days for area restaurants. First, neighborhood favorite Brothers Chicken on Gaston shut down — much to the sorrow of many neighbors. La Parrillada and Bailey's bit the dreaded back-tax dust. Then, there were reports that Franki’s Lil Europe in Casa Linda had shuttered. Then there were more reports that Franki’s was going to re-open soon. It’s no surprise that Franki’s was in trouble. In fact, they sent out an e-mail to customers about six weeks ago reaching out for help:
"Times are tough all over; even the major banks need help, so who do the little guys have to turn to. In talking to several of our regular clients, it was suggested that we should honestly turn to our clientele," wrote owner Jeffrey Batt. “As the economy has hit a rough patch and the Casa Linda area has undergone some dramatic age shifts, our business has diminished to an inoperable pace. Combine that with the construction project going on and we are in very dire straits. However, it is our contention that when the renovation of the square is completed and the area stabilizes, our product and concept will shine.”
The letter goes on to say that the restaurant is actively tapping the surrounding community for investors and partners, and that he hopes patrons will respect his decision to lay it all out there — blisters and all. “Sometimes you have to open, honest, and brash if you truly believe that you dreams are worth preservation,” he concludes.
I haven’t been able to reach Batt for details, and I wonder if they’ll be able to hold on through the Casa Linda construction period (no doubt rent has gone up in the past year). I hope they find a way to pull through. Franki’s has been a part of this neighborhood for a long time — I remember going there as a kid and thinking it was sooo fancy with it's birdbath-y waterfall outside and all. It’s been pretty reliably good eatin’ ever since.