FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – “These rib tips, they are…., well I haven’t tasted anything like them since my deceased grandfather,” said Thomas Hilton. Rib tips are one of the reasons Hilton has become a regular at a new south side restaurant called Fran’s Kitchen at 2006 South Hanna Street.
“We’ve got Italian beef, pork chop sandwiches with grilled onions and onion rings and yes the rib tips, they’re just saucy,” said owner Frances Grant. “Everybody who likes ribs likes the tips.”
Grant moved from Chicago about seven years ago. She decided to open her restaurant in December 2020 to serve up what she calls a limited soul food menu. One of her specials is baked chicken. “I usually offer the baked chicken special on Tuesday,” said Grant. “I wanted to be able to let people from Fort Wayne, Indiana taste some of the good food that we bring from Chicago. We’re open everyday of the week.”
Fran’s Kitchen is family owned. It is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You can eat in, pick up or have no contact delivery. It’s named in honor of Grant’s daughter. “I actually named it after my daughter that passed away and her name is Fran. She got shot on the streets of Chicago. She was at the wrong place at the wrong time. She was just walking down the street and they rode through and was shooting up the streets. It’s always the innocent ones who didn’t have nothing to do with what was going on to get shot,” reflected Grant.
“I overcame everything that came my way and with the grace of God we got this place open. So why not have a restaurant in honor of a beautiful queen? My heart is in this. I’ve put everything into it.”
Fran’s Kitchen is located a few blocks down the street from the Fort Wayne Urban League. Grant said it’s a small restaurant big on customer service. “When you eat good food you feel love and you feel warm inside. It gives you a great feeling,” she said. “People want to go where everybody knows their name. I take time to find out my customers names to provide personal service so they’ll keep coming back. Make it feel like family.”
“I come about three or four times a week and I come for other people too,” said Rashanta Williams. “So when I come I make big orders and then I have other people with me.”
“Yeah, this is my hole in the wall, but it’s mine,” laughed Grant. “Let’s go baby to the hole in the wall.”
Fran’s Kitchen is open Mondays from 6:30 a.m. to 12 a.m., Tuesday through Saturday from 6 a.m. to 12 a.m. and Sunday 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. You can check out it’s menu on Facebook and call 260-744-6217 to place an order.