For fans of authentic Philly and East Coast food, things are about to become a bit more challenging in the coming year here in Tucson. That is because Frankie’s South Philly Cheesesteaks has announced that when it shuts its doors at the end of Friday, December 31, it will not reopen the doors again. This announcement came earlier in the week as the long time business will shut down shop.
Frankie’s South Philly Cheesesteaks’ North Campbell Avenue location has been running for 17 years now. While the restaurant owners wanted to remain open heading into 2022, their landlord was not willing to renegotiate a new lease. With leases increasing around the city, the owners decided it would be best to call it a career for the South Philly Cheesesteaks restaurant.
Frank Santos opened the original location back in 2004. He became a mainstay in the restaurant, often greeting customers upon entering the establishment before heading back to the kitchen where he loved to get his hands into the food and personally prepare orders. A cancer diagnosis forced Frankie and his wife Deb to sell the restaurant, prior to his passing in 2019.
The following year, a second Frankie’s South Philly Cheesesteaks opened at 3780 West Ina road. While the original location will close down on December 31, the second, West Ina Road restaurant will remain open.
The restaurant is another in a long line of restaurants that have been forced to close in 2021. While many of these restaurants had to close due to extended COVID closures affecting business, the inability to bring in employees, or food shortages caused by food distribution issues, Frankie’s South Philly Cheesesteaks, as well as a handful of other restaurants, have been forced to close down against their will due to issues with their lease. There is no word yet as to whether Frankie’s will open in another location. Management put out a release earlier in the week stating they would not comment further at the present time.
For anyone interested in visiting the original Frankie’s South Philly Cheesesteak restaurant one last time before it shuts down, the North Campbell Avenue location will remain open from 11 AM until 8 PM for Wednesday and Thursday. On Friday, New Years Eve, the restaurant will remain open for reduced holiday hours, as it will close its doors and turn off the lights for the final time at 2 PM.