Friday, December 28, 2012

Franco to Stop Serving Lunch in 2013

Posted By on Fri, Dec 28, 2012 at 11:40 AM

click to enlarge Sorry, from now on these are dinnertime only. - JENNIFER SILVERBERG
  • Jennifer Silverberg
  • Sorry, from now on these are dinnertime only.

If you sincerely believe you cannot get through a workday without a lunchtime bowl of French onion soup and a side of pommes frites at Franco (1535 South Eighth Street; 314-436-2500), we have some very sad news for you:

Today is the Soulard restaurant's last day of lunch service. From now on, Franco will be concentrating exclusively on dinner.

To be fair, says owner Tom Schmidt, this news will not be much of a surprise to those who regularly eat lunch at Franco.

"As soon as A-B was sold," he says, "lunches dropped precipitously. The people who did come were loyal and consistent, but they get it. They've been here for solo lunches. It's not coming as a shock."

Though the declining business at lunch was a factor in Schmidt's decision, the most immediate reason was the departure of the restaurant's lunchtime manager, who is moving to Portland next week. With the opening of Franco's "little brother" Nico in the Loop this year, Schmidt says his resources were already divided and it didn't seem worth the trouble to bring in a new person to train.

This has been a year of changes for Franco: Kris Janik took over from Chris Williams as executive chef in April, but was replaced by Jon Dreja in November.

The end of lunch will give Schmidt more time to concentrate on Franco's dinner menu. "It's been changing a lot already," he says, "but next year it's going to grow and get better and better."

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