Swanky Frank’s Serves Last Dog

An alert “06880” reader writes:

I was in Swanky Frank’s last Thursday. At 2:30 an older man came in. He shut off the air-conditioning, and turned off the lights.  He said he was the owner, and was closing for good.

Needing verification (and lunch), I headed to the longtime hot doggery (for many years before that, Dairy Queen; for a brief while, Woodie’s).

It’s true. There on the door — hard to see, hidden between the come-on for fresh chopped salad, credit card info and other notices — was a hand-scrawled “Closed” sign:

Swanky Frank's

Comments on Yelp were evenly divided between “great chili dogs and tuna melts” and “overpriced, meh.”

Some people loved the ’50s diner decor. Others wanted cute girls serving food on rollerskates.

You can’t please everyone.

Clearly, Swanky Frank’s did not.

24 responses to “Swanky Frank’s Serves Last Dog

  1. melody james

    My family LOVED Swanky Franks; it was one of the last outings I took my 97 year old Mom to…as a good hot dog was one of her FAVES. I’m sad to see it go!

  2. John Karrel

    Very sad to see it go.

  3. Howard Udell

    Does anyone know whether they’ve also closed their original Swanky Frank’s on Connecticut Ave. in Norwalk? Some years ago, I saw a piece on the Today show about the original Swanky Frank’s. If I recall correctly, some people claimed that it was the best dog ever.

    • Nick thiemann

      Still there. Right off Exit 14. I don’t think the one in Westport was associated with the one in Norwalk except by name.

    • Gary Singer

      The original one in west Norwalk did have great dogs. Maybe not the best, but close.

  4. John McCarthy

    DQ was a great alternative to the Staples cafeteria.

  5. So what if they didn’t have cute girls on roller skates…. The food was solid. The amosphere was solid. And it wasn’t overpriced. It was a groovy joint that will be sorely missed by me and my whole family. We loved it there. Where are you gonna get a burger now at a fun place besides the Duck, Shake Shack, and Bobby Qs?

  6. Jill Ross Beres

    our whole family liked eating there, too. I certainly hope that the original in Norwalk is still there

  7. So where can I get a good hot dog in Westport now? Rawley’s in Fairfield is the closest place I can think of.

  8. Phil Perlah

    Not to digress Charlie, but we ate at the Shake Shack recently (off hours – didn’t have to dodge traffic) and was singularly unimpressed. For outstanding burgers, try Mario’s.

  9. marc sholes

    i miss diary queen

  10. Laurie Brannigan

    Total bummer!!! We loved the place… and I am pretty sure there’s a great pic of my kids in there from a winter afternoon when they went after sledding or something. We will really miss it!

  11. Patty Davis

    YES the ORIGINAL SWANKY FRANKS IN NORWALK is still there and open. We are open 10:30 – 4 EVERYDAY. Still serving homemade French fries, coleslaw & mac salad along with our award winning chili just like Al used to make since 1947. We still make our milkshakes the old fashion way with real milk & real hand scooped ice cream. I have been working there since the original family took it back in 2006 and love it. Come visit us & see for yourself. Everything is still done the old fashion way, as fresh & homemade as possible. Check out our daily specials (currently pulled pork)
    203-853-DOGS

  12. Matt Murray

    Like others, I miss DQ.
    Even Rawleys has changed a bit since Chico sold it (circa 2002). At Rawleys there used to be a line and a wait to get anything. Now you can walk in, sit down(!) and order. 😦

  13. Sven Davidson

    Chico”s College of Hot Dog Knowledge was truly great. These days, try the hot dogs at 5 Guys – they’re pretty good.

  14. Angela Ryan

    :(. A favorite, quick, inexpensive lunch for me and my son since he was two years old! He loved it there and I loved the milkshakes. He always marveled at the Ted Williams photo because we have the same one at home. I loved looking at all the old photos around town. There may be some other places with good hotdogs, but not with the same atmosphere.

  15. The ORIGINAL Swanky Franks on Connecticut Ave in Norwalk is still there. Still making the best hot dogs in all of Connecticut and will remain for years to come. A strong foundation in addition to great food and great people are the key to their survival. I love the original Swanky’s. Can’t say the same for the other variations of it.

  16. Super Duper Weenie in Fairfield remains a great option.

  17. Sheri Yanell Malin

    There was one in Newtown that closed over a year ago…I do remember Dairy Queen in Westport as a place to take a break during a free period when at Staples…

  18. Better burgers and dogs at Super Duper Weenie, just off Exit 24, and a friendlier staff and overall atmosphere than Swanky Frank’s ever did. For a real treat, try the Natural Burger at Super Duper Weenie.