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A Little History

After immigrating to Chicago from Italy in 1969, owners Vince delivered for an Italian bread company and Nina waitressed in local restaurants. After many years in the industry, they decided to take a risk and open their own restaurant in 1988, Frankie’s Beef & Pasta in Oak Lawn. As the years passed, Frankie’s Beef & Pasta became a success due to its high quality and tasty homemade meals, and gained much popularity with their famous beef, meatball and marinated chicken sandwiches. Customers’ requests for large orders intended for special events motivated their next venture – Frankie’s Catering – just a few years later.

The next adventure for the family, was a fine dining experience… Frankie’s Ristorante started in 2008, which was run by their children Frankie & Angela. On April 17, 2023 Frankie’s Ristorante celebrated its 15th anniversary as the South Suburbs’ preferred spot for authentic fine dining Italian cuisine and impeccable parties. The Diner’s Choice by Open Table each year, Frankie’s Ristorante was the upscale sister-restaurant to long-time Oak Lawn favorite “fast food” Frankie’s Beef & Pasta.

Through good times and challenging times over the last three decades, the Santoro family had found success with its authentic Italian cuisine and high standards of service. 

The family decided to close both locations in May of 2023, REBRAND and renovate the Tinley Park space from floor to ceiling. No longer a white tablecloth formal restaurant. The new concept is being called “casual chic” and also offers a more lively atmosphere with energetic music.  Furthermore, a wonderful craft cocktail list and authentic Italian pizza from a Marra Forni brick oven was added.

“Frankie’s Since 1988” is a COMBINATION of the past Oak Lawn “fast food” and Tinley Park fine dining “ristorante” concepts. It is a big change, however they are very proud of the new vision. It’s a more fun atmosphere that was needed post-pandemic after the last few years of craziness. 

The Santoro family enjoys serving the loyal clientele who have supported them over the last thirty five years, as well as the new individuals they meet daily. At Frankie’s, you will always find one or two family members, or more continuously mixing and mingling with their guests.