During my final days as a Chaminade student, I’d always pass by a space with white walls that fronted The Fat Greek in Kaimuki. A black, red, and white banner hung in the front of this space: “Franky Fresh, Burgers & Pizza: Coming Soon.” I made a self-vow to visit this place when it opened, but unfortunately didn’t happen.
Months after graduation, I was perusing through my friends’ Snapchat stories when I found that one of my schoolmates is enjoying a delicious chocolate milkshake with whipped cream on the top. The restaurant he’s in is dimly lit, but you could still make out the fact that his friends were accompanying him. “Trying out Franky Fresh,” reads his caption. It was a sign. I had to go.
It was a crowded Monday night at the wooden cubed space that Franky Fresh calls home. Speakers blasted old-school hip-hop as we walked through the door. Near the entrance of the restaurant, a game of the original Super Smash Bros. is waiting to be played in the restaurant’s old Nintendo 64 (which is a rarity these days, but a fortunate rarity). Vinyl records of hip-hop legends, vintage boomboxes and photos of 80’s and 90’s rappers decorated the walls. A large flat screen boasted remixes of old movies and songs (The Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” preceded a flash mob clip from a Jay and Silent Bob film). The menus were made out of recycled vinyl records. The place was old-school urban at best.
Reese ordered the Fresh Prince, a recommendation he’d taken up from Raelyn. I ordered the Old School, which was a classic burger with all the classic ingredients inside: onions, pickles, tomatoes, cheese – pretty much anything you’d find in a burger. Each burger order included fries, which were stuffed in adorable mini garbage cans, similar to that of Oscar the Grouch from Sesame Street.
For those feeling nostalgic about the 80’s/90’s hip-hop era (a golden age where Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Marky Mark thrived) and want to savor in well-done burgers and fries that are salted at just the right amount – this is your stop. So bring a friend or two to “collaborate and listen” – or to indulge in burgers and milkshakes. Your preference.