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Evansville
Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Filling Up

It’s easy to find a meal at Frankie’s Restaurant.

Frankie’s Restaurant opened only four months ago on Evansville’s East Side, at 6840 Logan Drive, but already it has doubled its space. The reason? A steady stream of customers seeking owner Franky Gonzales’ home-cooked fare.

‘A Little Bit of Everything’ Franky Gonzales moved to Indiana from Mexico 11 years ago and has spent that time working his way up in the restaurant business. With his own eatery, which he opened in August, he offers Midwestern favorites like fried catfish and country fried steak.

Gonzales started in the restaurant business 11 years ago in Princeton, Indiana, where he had family. Originally from Chiapas, Mexico, Gonzales moved to Evansville in 2013.

First, he worked as a dishwasher, then held positions like busser and server, helping prepare dishes for patrons. After years working in the business — including at Acapulco in Newburgh, Indiana, and Cleavers in Evansville — and making connections, he was ready to open his own eatery.

“I like to take a challenge to do new things and learn, get better. I know what goes into running a restaurant,” Gonzales says. “I decided to move on and do my own thing.”

He kept the original checkered floors in homage to the property’s former tenant, The Diner by Mele’s, and hung faux greenery and pictures of menu items on the wall. With a family member’s design input, Gonzales sought to brighten the second half of the restaurant, which took around a month to renovate. He also added a bar, which serves wine, beer, and cocktails. The restaurant also has drink specials throughout the week.

“We wanted it to be open and bright so people can come in the morning and drink a cup of coffee,” he says.

Fried Catfish and Country Fried Steak

Staffed by 15 employees serving 34 tables, Frankie’s menu offers a menagerie of dishes, from plates of pasta to sandwiches, burgers, and salads, as well as an all-day breakfast. Chilaquiles, churro waffles, tres leches pancakes, and cajeta French toast are Mexican-influenced menu items alongside Midwestern favorites like fried catfish, country fried steak, and appetizers of Wisconsin cheese curds and fried pickles.

“We want to experiment with different plates, a little bit of everything on the menu,” he says. “We always try to create different dishes.”

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Maggie Valenti
Maggie Valenti
Maggie Valenti joined Tucker Publishing Group in September 2022 as a staff writer. She graduated from Gettysburg College in 2020 with a bachelors degree in English. A Connecticut native, Maggie has ridden horses for 15 years and has hunt seat competition experience on the East Coast.

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