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Frank's serves slices of heaven

Dispatch/Argus Photo By Gary Krambeck

Though Frank's Pizzeria at 711 1st. Ave. in Silvis has a rich tradition for pizza, co-owner Randy Serra displays some of the other items on the menu. Since its opening in 1955 by Frank Serra, generations of Silvis residents have flocked to the eatery.

SILVIS -- There's a place on 1st Avenue that's sometimes taken for granted by many Silvis residents.

Locals gather at Frank's Pizzeria at 711 1st Ave. to talk, watch TV or get a drink at the restaurant's Club Napoli. For many in Silvis, eating pizza at Frank's is almost like having a slice of heaven.

``It's a tradition,'' Silvis City Clerk Barbara Fox said of the 43-year-old restaurant. ``The two places you hit after a party was Frank's and the Ice Cream Palace.''

Frank's is an institution. Since its opening in 1955 by Frank Serra, generations of Silvis residents have flocked to the eatery. It is not unusual for an entire generation to grab a slice at one of the restaurant's many vintage formica tables.

Frank's is the place to eat authentic Italian food, prepared from recipes brought all the way from Calabria, Italy, by Mr. Serra's father and uncle in the early 1900s.

Mr. Serra brought that food to the public when he opened his first restaurant at 902 1st Ave. Starting out with two tables, the restaurant's popularity caused it to move to its present location.

Mrs. Fox remembers the times she had at Frank's. As a teen growing up in Silvis, she worked there and knows the secret of its success.

``It's good food and it's not packaged.'' she said about her 40-year love affair with Frank's. ``Everything is made in-house, their sauce and sausage. Believe me, I know.''

Mr. Serra died in 1991; now Frank's is in the hand of another generation -- his sons. And with a second restaurant opened in Bettendorf at 2297 Falcon Ave., Frank's Pizzeria is still going strong.

Through Frank's 43 years of business, the family's philosophy is simple: give the people what they want.

``We try to let the product speak for itself,'' co-owner Joe Serra said. ``We try to have some fun with the people.''

Mrs. Fox agreed. She said that quality of Frank's shines on her own Italian roots.

``I come from an Italian family who cooked and you didn't go to a restaurant unless they have good food.'' she said. ``This is just like home.''

-- By Kristophere' Owens (February 9, 1998)

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