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Fran's, 4855 Forest Drive: Janurary 08   11 comments

Posted at 5:41 pm in restaurants

Fran's was a small meat-and-three on Forest Drive almost across from Trenholm Plaza. They always appeared to me to do a good business though I only went there a few times myself. My opinion is that they tended to run out of most items very early in the evening. If you weren't there by 7pm, there was probably no point in going (seniors found it ideal..). Combining that with the fact that the layout was very crowded and that they had no booths, I decided years ago that Lizard's Thicket was preferable when I wanted down-home cooking.

The new restaurant going into the location will be called Zoes Kitchen (but with the little European dots above the "e" in "Zoes"). Looking at their web site, it appears that they are a regional chain and will be serving a "healthy" Greek-inspired menu. To be frank, I didn't see anything there that really looks appetizing to me.

UPDATE 6 Oct 2010 -- Well, Zoe's is open, and has been for a while. As I said above, the menu doesn't appeal to me in general, but the Greek salad is good (if pricey), and with the closure of Zorba's on Decker I do visit here for that every so often. The patio is nice in the spring and fall as well.

Written by ted on February 4th, 2008

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11 Responses to 'Fran's, 4855 Forest Drive: Janurary 08'

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  1. Seniors, yes. My mom and my aunt were sad to see this place go.

    Brian

    8 Feb 08 at 9:08 pm

  2. Sad to see this go but the last few times I ate there the quality was not what it once was.

    Will

    2 Mar 08 at 4:02 pm

  3. I want to say that the Fran's building started out as a Golden Skillet fried chicken place. Maybe I'm misremembering (very possible!). Does anyone else remember?

    Oldie

    14 Apr 08 at 3:48 pm

  4. I'm not sure about that either. I think the history of Fran's itself is that it started in the old "Po' Folks" building on Two Notch, then opened in the Forest Drive location as "Little Fran's", then when the original closed became just "Fran's".

    ted

    14 Apr 08 at 5:50 pm

  5. I believe Fran's was started by a group of teachers from Flora. There was no Fran, rather the name was derived from "FResh And Natural". At least that's what I was told by someone who claimed to know.

    JP

    2 Aug 08 at 5:25 pm

  6. Oldie, you are correct. There was a Golden Skillet at Fran's location in the mid to late 70's. I spent (misspent?) my summer living with a friend of my mom's in some condo's right near there and had my first "real" job at Mr. Donut. Got sick of donuts, but always enjoyed a respite at the skillet. Fran's was one of my grandmother's favorites - she passed away in the early 90's.

    KSG

    29 Sep 08 at 9:58 am

  7. Fran's was a wonderful place to eat and you're right, seniors loved it! (I ate there frequently with my dad who is in his '80s.) For a while it was run by one of the same guys who also ran Bernie's Kitchen over off Bluff Road.

    Your original post is correct...there's nothing inspiring at Zoe's. It's overpriced and trendy, although seems to attract decent crowds.

    Christina

    27 Aug 10 at 8:26 pm

  8. I was a Golden skillet first then come Fran's . It closed and reopen up on two Notch at the old Po Folks . then it closed and move back the old location as Little Frans and now Zoes

    Samuel

    14 Sep 10 at 8:47 pm

  9. Fran's Farm Fresh Foods! Good stuff!

    palmettopanic

    26 May 11 at 3:16 pm

  10. FRAN's belonged to my step-grandfather and his first wife, Jon and Lavern Baker. It began at the Forest Drive location, but they had a restaurant on N. Main long beofre FRAN's. The name actually meant Foods Reasonable and Nutircious. When business was booming, they rented the building on Two Notch and then (I believe) that's when Lavern passed away and Jon and his daughter, Janet, decided to move back to the smaller building. Eventually, they were ready to retire and sold out. I agree that the food was better when Jon, Lavern and Janet owned. i grew up eating there and miss those days!

    Melissa Miller

    22 Jul 11 at 8:03 pm

  11. Was it common for customers to call the owner "Fran?" I have a friend who said that when her family ate ther in the 1970s, her father always called the owner "Fran," and the friend had always assumed that was her name. Yes. A friend. Not "a friend."

    badger

    25 Jun 12 at 8:35 am

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