Franke's Closes Downtown Cafeteria


Franke's Closes Downtown Cafeteria
Franke's Cafeteria has closed its downtown location, but will celebrate its 100th anniversary at its west Little Rock restaurant. (Vince Palermo)

By now, you’ve probably heard the sad news that Franke’s Cafeteria’s location in downtown Little Rock’s Regions Center has closed.

Bob Terrell, manager of the west Little Rock Franke’s location, said it was just a business decision.

“I knew the last couple of years, it was struggling a little bit,” Terrell said of the downtown location. “We had really good food, the crew was great — occasionally entertaining. It was a good place to eat, but sometimes it’s just the wrong circumstances.”

But Carolyn Franke, who sold what had been the family business to General Manager Abraham Delgado last year, wanted Arkansas Business readers to know a couple of things:

First, Sack It by Franke’s, also in the Regions building at 400 Broadway, is still open from 7-2:30 Monday-Friday, serving breakfast, sandwiches, soups and salads.

Second, Franke’s will be celebrating its 100th anniversary Saturday, Sept. 14, at its location at 11121 N. Rodney Parham Road in the Market Place Shopping Center in west Little Rock.

Franke said the celebration will include giveaways, cake, photos and a 50% discount for members of the military.

Although she no longer owns the business, Franke said, “I am the face of Franke’s, it is my name and I’m the last Franke.”

You may remember that Franke sold the business after her daughter, Christen Cazort Franke, an owner and operator of the restaurant business, died in late 2016 followed by the death of Carolyn’s husband, William Keliher “Bill” Franke, in 2017.

Carolyn Franke said she has lunch at the west Little Rock location almost every day, where she visits with customers. “I have very interesting customers,” she told Whispers.

Franke’s location in Conway also remains in operation.

Franke’s, one of the oldest restaurants in the state, was inducted into the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame last year.