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Frank's celebrating 40 years of business in Tucson

Posted: 6:38 AM, Apr 26, 2022
Updated: 2022-04-26 10:41:03-04
It’s known for the sign that reads, “elegant dining elsewhere” in front of the building.

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Frank’s is a Tucson Staple. Mark Smith and Deb Richards took over the restaurant at 3843 E Pima St. in 1982.

It’s known for the sign that reads, “elegant dining elsewhere” in front of the building. But its popularity goes far beyond Southern Arizona.

Smith says, “People from other countries and other states that come to Tucson want to come to Frank’s.”

Longtime employee Candace Salisbury adds, “There’s people that wear their Frank’s t-shirts in Europe.”

Even people like Doug Schoellkopf can’t get enough.

“We used to live in Tucson and now we live in Oregon but we come back to Tucson every year and we come here a lot when we’re here,” Schoellkopf says.

When asked what makes Frank’s so unique, Smith says, “one thing is our longtime employees and the fact that you can walk in and see the cooks and see what’s happening. I mean it’s all right in front of you.”

Like many businesses, Frank’s did take a hit during the pandemic. But thanks to

PPP loan and their loyal customers, they were able to stay open.

Smith says, “We did to-go orders but it wasn’t a big business. It cut our business down by 80%.”

They still managed, thanks to customers like Wilbert Obles.

“I come here every Friday for sure. I’m here every Friday because I love their omelet, it’s a special every Friday.”

Smith and his staff want to extend their gratitude for the wonderful community that helped them stay open, allowing them to celebrate 40 years of business this August.

“We have a lot of loyal customers we’re very fortunate,” says Smith.

Heidi Alagha is an anchor and reporter for KGUN 9. Heidi spent 5 years as the morning anchor in Waco where she was named the best anchor team by the Texas Associated Press. Share your story ideas and important issues with Heidi by emailing or by connecting on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.