When Frank opened this February, it was hard not to judge the long-waited eatery harshly.
Though first announced in October 2014, the second location of the Austin-based hot doggery had a few construction woes to contend with. Then again rehabbing a building originally erected in 1912 probably wasn’t easy, but the neighborhood’s anticipation was understandable. Here was a beacon of Southtown that went unused since Casbeers at the Church vacated it in 2011, promising scratch-made dogs and, more importantly, booze, and yet it showed no signs of opening for several months on end.
It was also easy to see why it took so long to complete. The indoor dining room on the bottom floor stands in stark contrast to the haphazard space that former owners Steve Silbas and Barbara Wolfe added in 2008. Those rasquache qualities worked for Casbeers, of course, but that was then. Now restaurants looking to make a splash in the bustling culinary scene are often tasked with delivering intricately designed spaces, though not to the detriment of the food.
However, Frank’s St. Francis Room, now a dining area and bar, was most definitely worth waiting for. Already the Alamo Methodist Church and later Green Room Dinner Theatre in its past lives, the St. Francis Room is spooky, yet inviting. Here’s a former place-of-worship-turned-lively-eatery-and-bar with tin ceiling tiles up above, awe-inspiring stained glass and a sizable stage that commands the eye, be it with bands or Spurs games on a giant projection screen.
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