"For a few hundred dollars, we could have had a gas charbroiler and saved all this grief," Clothier says. "But you have to sacrifice some things for perfection, and I think the charcoal taste is an important part of our brand."
The space that was last used as a Cricket Wireless store will open next week as Franks.
While Clothier had hoped that business would be brisk enough during lunch to support the original location at 1623 Genessee in the West Bottoms (Fat City interviewed Clothier back in May), that wasn't the case. But he doesn't want to forget those who supported the restaurant in its first year of operation.
"We don't want to give up our loyal customers, and this is an easy drive up Cesar Chavez," Clothier says. "And with the access to I-35 and the surrounding neighborhood, we have the potential to do more business."
The building had been painted a bright yellow for Los Compadres, a Mexican restaurant that never actually opened in the space. And prior to the cellular phone store, diners may remember Cafe Barcelona, Carmen's on the Boulevard and Don Pepe's Spanish Cuisine in the brick building.
The new menu (you can see it on the restaurant's website) has a number of carryovers — burgers, brats and hot dogs — from the West Bottoms location, but Clothier is excited about a new addition: tamales.
"We grill them on the charcoal. Not only does it steam them nicely but the charcoal caramelizes the corn husk and creates a little smoke. It adds a really interesting kick," he says.
The new space will seat 40 people inside with additional outdoor seating and a drive-through. Franks will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.