NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's uplifting perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Saturday, October 8th, 2016

Frankie’s Pizza and Pasta closing after over two decades in Redmond: An appreciation

At the end of next week, one of the most beloved restau­rants in NPI’s home­town of Red­mond will be going out of busi­ness after a twen­ty-three year run in the heart of the city’s com­mer­cial dis­trict — to the dis­may of many cur­rent and for­mer residents.

Frankie’s Piz­za & Pas­ta has been a fix­ture on Red­mond Way since the ear­ly 1990s, offer­ing excel­lent Ital­ian food at rea­son­able prices. Its own­ers announced sev­er­al months ago that the prop­er­ty the restau­rant has called home for many years has been sold to a devel­op­er who plans to build a hotel there.

From their announce­ment on June 8th:

For those of you who have not heard, Frankie’s Piz­za and Pas­ta will be clos­ing our doors in mid-Octo­ber. Our land­lords sold the prop­er­ty to a devel­op­er who will be build­ing a hotel.

We will miss our loy­al cus­tomers and our awe­some staff very much, but as our daugh­ter-in-law Jenn elo­quent­ly stat­ed “Don’t cry because it’s over, cel­e­brate because it happened.”

We have decid­ed not to re-open some­where else as after 23 years in busi­ness we would like to slow down and pur­sue oth­er oppor­tu­ni­ties.

If you or some­one you know would like to car­ry on the Frankie’s name in a new loca­tion please con­tact Frankie for more information. 

Also, if you or some­one you know is look­ing for short-term employ­ment we’d love to speak with you about join­ing the family. 

For more details about our future plans, stay tuned to Face­book or stop by the restau­rant and say hi. Mean­while, come see us a lot! 

Love and blessings! 

Frank & Rhonda

One hun­dred and twen­ty-one days have passed since the announce­ment, and now Frankie’s is enter­ing its final week of operations.

To cel­e­brate Frankie’s run, Frank and Rhon­da have planned a series of spe­cial clos­ing par­ties for Fri­day, Octo­ber 14th and Sat­ur­day, Octo­ber 15th. Each of these events have already sold out due to high demand.

The last day of reg­u­lar oper­a­tions will be Thurs­day, Octo­ber 13th. Loy­al cus­tomers have until close of busi­ness on the 13th to enjoy a final tra­di­tion­al meal or two, as the sold-out clos­ing par­ties will fea­ture buf­fet dinners.

As reg­u­lar patrons, the team at NPI is incred­i­bly sad to see Frankie’s end its run. NPI staff and board have cel­e­brat­ed many hap­py occa­sions over the years by break­ing bread over a table at Frankie’s. When we’ve want­ed a piz­za or two to keep us going dur­ing a long meet­ing or call­ing par­ty, we’ve turned to Frankie’s. When we’ve want­ed to treat out of town guests to a fine meal, we’ve turned to Frankie’s. And when we’ve want­ed to serve Ital­ian food at our events, we’ve turned to Frankie’s.

Program for NPI's 2016 Spring Fundraising Gala

Frankie’s pro­vid­ed the food for NPI’s 2012 and 2016 Spring Fundrais­ing Galas and was rec­og­nized in the event pro­grams each year. The image above depicts the front and back of the 2016 gala program.

We like to fea­ture dif­fer­ent cuisines at our Spring Fundrais­ing Gala, so over the course of the his­to­ry of the event, we’ve part­nered with dif­fer­ent estab­lish­ments, includ­ing Ohana, Uwa­ji­maya, El Tore­ador, Mediter­ranean Kitchen, and O’Char Thai. Frankie’s Piz­za & Pas­ta present­ly holds the notable dis­tinc­tion as the only estab­lish­ment we have worked with twice on the gala.

Buffet line at NPI's 2016 Spring Fundraising Gala

The buf­fet line at NPI’s 2016 Spring Fundrais­ing Gala

Frankie’s lasagna and bread­sticks were so good in 2012 that we sim­ply had to bring them back for this year’s gala.

In ret­ro­spect, that was an extreme­ly for­tu­itous deci­sion. Had we wait­ed anoth­er year to fea­ture Ital­ian cui­sine again, we would not have been able to work with Frankie’s for a sec­ond time.

Frank, Rhon­da, and their employ­ees are some of the nicest, friend­liest peo­ple you’ll meet any­where. The food they serve is deli­cious, and their ser­vice is con­sis­tent­ly great. They sen­si­bly spice up their menu with sea­son­al dish­es while keep­ing clas­sics avail­able for loy­al cus­tomers to order anytime.

They also kind­ly share recipes with patrons, enabling aspir­ing cooks to try repli­cat­ing tasty dish­es like gar­lic parme­san soup at home.

I’ve enjoyed every meal I’ve eat­en at Frankie’s over the years, but like oth­er reg­u­lars, there are cer­tain items on the menu I’m espe­cial­ly par­tial to.

These include:

  • Piz­zas: In addi­tion to a clas­sic pep­per­oni piz­za, I’m fond of… 
    • The Ital­ian Stal­lion: Frankie’s describes this as “a true meat lover’s piz­za! Pep­per­oni, Ital­ian sausage, sala­mi, hick­o­ry smoked bacon, and hick­o­ry smoked ham.”
    • The ‘Har­vest Moon’ Pie: Frankie’s describes this as “a unique taste of Autumn in the North­west, fea­tur­ing hick­o­ry smoked Bacon and fresh, organ­ic Wash­ing­ton grown apples with moz­zarel­la, sharp ched­dar and a touch of Gor­gonzo­la cheese, chopped wal­nuts, onions and a Creamy Sun-dried Toma­to Pesto.
    • The Arti­san Veg­gie: Frankie’s describes this as “a deluxe veg­e­tar­i­an piz­za topped with moz­zarel­la and fonti­na cheeses, with sun-dried toma­toes, fresh organ­ic spinach, roast­ed red pep­pers, red onions and black olives. A deli­cious combo!”
  • Pas­tas: It’s hard to pick favorites, but If I had to choose, I’d pick… 
    • The Lasagne al Forno: As men­tioned, we have twice served Frankie’s lasagna at our gala. Frankie’s offers the afore­men­tioned tra­di­tion­al meat lasagna on their menu, and they also have pre­pared a veg­e­tar­i­an ver­sion of the dish for our galas. Both ver­sions are first-rate.
    • The Spaghet­ti Napoli: This is one of my very favorite things to order. It comes in four vari­eties: with fresh mari­nara, with rich Sicil­ian meat sauce, with meat­balls, and with chick­en sausage. They’re all tasty.

It’s hard to believe that after next Sat­ur­day, the Frankie’s we know and love will no longer be in busi­ness. Though we wish Frankie’s were con­tin­u­ing on in a new loca­tion, we under­stand and respect Frank and Rhon­da’s deci­sion to pur­sue oth­er oppor­tu­ni­ties. We’ll always be grate­ful that Frankie’s Piz­za and Pas­ta was a part of our home­town of Red­mond for near­ly a quar­ter century.

Gra­zie di tut­to, Frankie’s. You’ll be sore­ly missed.

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