LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A downtown Little Rock lunch staple closed its doors abruptly after decades of having a presence in the capitol city.
Franke’s Cafeteria posted signs outside its location in the Regions Bank building on Thursday, indicating that the eatery would be shutting down.
Bill Dickinson runs a barber shop right next to the location and, like many other people, was surprised to learn the news.
“If you notice, most of the people over there are old people like myself,” Dickinson says.
“And, they like to go to a cafeteria and sit down and eat.”
The cafeteria style restaurant started as a doughnut shop in Little Rock in 1919, according to Franke’s website.
Inside Franke’s west Little Rock location, old photos show a Franke’s restaurant sign posted near 4th and Broadway downtown.
“Time has changed. Kids don’t eat at cafeterias anymore,” Dickinson says.
Management has not yet explained the reasoning for Franke’s downtown closure.
Tenants in the Regions Bank building tell us Franke’s was open on Wednesday but announced it would be closing for good after Wednesday’s hours.
Franke’s Cafeteria will continue to operate two other locations in central Arkansas: one in west Little Rock on Rodney Parham and one in Conway.