Have you ever been served bacon and eggs by Cleopatra, the Queen of the Nile?? Well, if you answered no, you should have stopped in at on Halloween. It was there that sisters Rosa Martino and Maria Salimeni, were dressed up in their usual resplendent theme costumes.
This year they were both decked out as Cleopatra, complete with kohl-lined eyes and serpent tiaras. Every year, Rosa comes up with a Halloween theme which must be kept secret. Over the years, costumes have ranged from cowgirls to geisha girls to Statues of Liberty (that was right after 9/11). The store is decorated accordingly.
Frank’s, located on Smith Street between 2nd and 3rd streets, is a luncheonette that serves everything from the aforementioned bacon and eggs sandwiches to potato croquettes to pizza and other hot dishes. They also offer catering.
The sisters are hard-working, warm and welcoming to everyone, whether you are a regular or a new-comer. The regulars include many of our local mail carriers, business owners, laborers, students and elderly neighbors who usually partake in their one big meal of the day at Frank’s. Rosa and Maria often know how you like your coffee or what you want to order before you know yourself!
Frank’s is owned by their parents, Frank and Nina Martino, who came from Mola di Bari, Italy in the 1960’s. () Everyday Frank and his son, Cosmo, open up before dawn to serve the really early, early birds. The sisters take over later in the morning and work through the afternoon, assisted their by brother, Onofrio. Their beautiful, red-headed mom Nina still helps out with the Italian specialties that are featured in the showcase.
This is a real family business!!!
The kindness and generosity of the Martino family is well known. They host scores of devotees of the Society of Maria SS Addolorata (Our Lady of Sorrows), the patron saint of Mola, during the which coincides with the saint’s feast day each September.
So next Halloween, be sure to stop in at Frank’s to check out Rosa and Maria’s costumes. But don’t wait until then to sample the food and hospitality of this little neighborhood treasure. Their location makes it a perfect place to get breakfast on the way to work or a pick-me-up after you get off the subway.