Frank's Kitchen, the casual restaurant owned by Dina and Frank Berta in the Whittier neighborhood, closed its doors this week. Opened in 2010, Frank's Kitchen offered an eclectic selection of dishes that ranged from meatball subs to jerk chicken to Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches. The restaurant kept its prices very reasonable and quickly became a neighborhood favorite, but the lifestyle took a toll on its owners.
In a post on the blog that Dina Berta kept for the restaurant, she explained that while business was good, there was still much work to do and big investments to be made. In the end, selling seemed like the best choice for the duo. By July, the space will become a barbecue restaurant owned by Joe Van Dyke, aka Jammin' Joe.
Here is the message Dina had for the restaurant's guests:
The end happened as quickly as the beginning. Just three years ago Frank was sliding a check across a table to our future landlords and we were in the restaurant business.
On Sunday, sitting on the patio of Frank's Kitchen, the buyer's accountant was sliding a check over to Frank. It was a down payment to our asking price. And just like that, we closed our restaurant.
For all our stunned customers, friends and supporters let me tell you how we got here.
I was not lying when you came in and asked how is the business and I said doing well. After about a year and half it was paying for itself. It probably would have turned the corner in the third year, especially if we obtained a liquor license.
It was in the pursuit of a beer and wine license that we came to a realization about who we are and the kind of life we wanted to live.
The alcohol licensing was going to take six months. We probably weren't going to be able to serve beer and wine until November. Our lease is up in December. We needed the warm spring and summer months to recoup the investment in the license and product. That meant we would have to sign a new lease, most likely for five years.
The thought of another long-term lease made us both sigh, heavily. A little too heavily. That's when we knew. We have worked extremely hard and for long hours day in and day out since we opened. Frankly, we're tired and did not want to keep going. Some people have the restaurant business in their blood. We had to admit we did not. This was no longer what we wanted to do with our lives.
We listed the restaurant for sale on Craigslist.com.
Joe Van Dyke, aka "Jammin' Joe," a blues guitarist and restaurateur from Virginia was our first serious response to the ad. Jammin' Joe has owned and or operated several restaurants in his life. He carved out a pretty good reputation for barbecue back east and wants to do the same in Denver. He liked our restaurant and accepted our price. He plans to open in early July.
Thank you everyone who supported us in our endeavor. We appreciated it more than you know. And thanks to our awesome employees. A few are staying on with Joe. May God bless all of you.
Dina (and Frank)
· Goodbye and Thank You [Frank's Kitchen Diary]
· Drakes Haus Will Start Slinging Its Original Merlot Burgers on Friday [EDen]