Closing time

For 17 years, the original Frankie’s South Philly Cheesesteaks on North Campbell Avenue was a popular destination for authentic Philly fare. The restaurant will close for good at the end of business Friday, Dec. 31.

The sign went on the door of the original Frankie’s South Philly Cheesesteaks on North Campbell Avenue on Sunday, Dec. 26: At the end of business Friday, Dec. 31, the popular sandwich shop would close for good.

The closing comes after the owners were unsuccessful this fall in renegotiating a new lease, according to the note. The owners did not want to comment further.

Frankie’s founder Frank Santos opened his namesake South Philly Cheesesteaks restaurant at 2574 N. Campbell Ave. in 2004 after severing ties with his first restaurant project, Daglio’s Cheesesteaks & Hoagies. That restaurant closed for good in spring 2013.

Deb and Frankie Santos opened Frankie’s South Philly Cheesesteaks on North Campbell Avenue in 2004 and sold the restaurant several years ago. That original location is closing after the owners were unable to renegotiate a lease.

Santos ran Frankie’s for a dozen years, greeting customers by name and recalling regulars’ orders even before they could ask. He sold the business a few years before he died of cancer in 2019.

In September 2020, Frankie’s opened its second location at 3780 W. Ina Road, near North Thornydale Road.

That location is not affected by the Campbell Avenue closure.


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Contact reporter Cathalena E. Burch at cburch@tucson.com. On Twitter @Starburch