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Frank & Carl’s Debuts at Bridge Park Despite Dine-In Restrictions

Susan Post Susan Post Frank & Carl’s Debuts at Bridge Park Despite Dine-In RestrictionsAll photos provided by Frank & Carl's
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At a time when many restaurants are facing an uncertain future, one local eatery is bucking the trend and actually opening during the coronavirus pandemic.

Frank & Carl’s served its first sandwiches from 6558 Longshore St. at Dublin’s Bridge Park earlier this month.

After talking about a deli concept for more than a decade, brothers and business partners Max and Mitch Stafford have turned it into a reality.

Mitch describes the fast-casual concept as a good place to grab a sandwich and a beer at an affordable price.

Working for Bridge Park’s developer Crawford Hoying, Max saw first-hand the gap a sandwich spot could fill in the development.

“Since the beginning, we’ve just watched various delivery companies….show up and bring sandwiches here,” Max says. Even as the development filled in with more restaurants, sandwich deliveries kept rolling.

With a mix of office tenants (when there’s not a global pandemic) and residents, “We have a pretty captive audience here. It’s a pretty unique and dynamic environment,” Mitch says.

The brothers’ habit of conversing in funny movie quotes inspired Frank & Carl’s decor. Splashed on the walls, the movie quotes are meant to make diners laugh and set a laid-back vibe.

Movie nods make their way to the menu, too. The Ma Fratelli (Goonies never say die!) has been an early favorite. It’s a play on an Italian sub with pepperoni, salami, capicola, ham and provolone, topped with lettuce, tomato, banana pepper and maxine vinaigrette. 2 Flannels & A Vest is another Max favorite. Served as a hot sub or steamed bagel sandwich, it has pastrami and smoked cheddar with lettuce, tomato, spicy mustard and pickle slices.

The sandwiches are the brothers’ own culinary creations. Falling into the tough job but someone’s gotta do it category, they ate and ate and ate to come up with the best combinations.

Frank & Carl’s was nearly ready for its debut when the pandemic hit. They’d started staff training and were handing out free sandwiches to the neighborhood.

“Timing quite literally could not have been worse,” Mitch says. However, they made the decision to open out of moral obligation to their employees. Mitch says they’re not providing as many hours as they’d like, but if they could tread water for six to eight weeks while still supporting employees, they felt it was the most important thing to do.

Business may not be where they want it with hotel guests and office employees absent from the development, but it is increasing every week Mitch says.

For an at-home Frank & Carl’s experience, diners can order through the website or by calling in. Delivery is available through Grubhub.

As the possibility of socially-distant dine-in patrons is on the horizon, the brothers say a partial opening concept works well for their small layout. The spot seats about 30 with three picnic tables and a bar rail. A more open concept will also see the addition of beer, which will be as local as possible.

Frank & Carl’s is currently open every day of the week from 11 a.m – 7 p.m. When dine-in resumes, they’ll be open from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. until orders stop coming in on Friday and Saturday.

For more information, visit frankandcarls.com.

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