By AUDREY JENKNS – STAFF WRITER
You may have had hotdogs before, but have you ever had a hotdog from Captain Franks Hotdog Emporium? If your answer is no, then it may be time to broaden your hotdog horizons. Captain Franks is a local treat you will not want to miss.
Located in downtown Danville on North 4th street, just a five-minute walk from campus, the emporium boasts fourteen different types of specialty dogs, along with an array of other hometown delicacies like nachos, burgers, slaw, soup, and ice cream.
For just $3.75, Captain Franks offers hungry students the ‘Captain Frank’, a ‘Danville original, featuring a ¼ lb 100% beef Nathan’s hot dog on a warmed bun.
Loaded with Frank’s famous chili, shredded cheese, diced onion, and the finest yellow mustard Franks could find,’ reads a full and varied menu. This is only the beginning. Franks also offers the ‘Junk Yard Dog’, a dog topped with barbecue, fresh cole slaw, and mustard on a hoagie bun, or the ‘Fiery Frank’, a go piled high with sour cream, cheese, jalapenos, and Frank’s Hot Sauce, plus many more gourmet options.
In addition to the great food, Franks also offers very affordable prices and free delivery. While most restaurant chains will charge at least $3, Franks offers free delivery to Centre’s campus, perfect for lazy days at school. The restaurant itself is in a very convenient location, and instantly puts customers of all ages at ease with its simple, thoughtful design and playful decor.
Perhaps the biggest attraction of Franks, though, is ‘Frank’ himself. Jonathan McWilliams, the owner and founder of Franks, is legendary not only for his food, but for his kindness.
“The owner is really nice. I really wish I was not a vegetarian because the owner is so nice that I want to support his business. That is how nice he is. He makes me not want to be a vegetarian,”
senior Maddie Hooper said.
Hooper’s assessment is hardly inaccurate. A Danville native, McWilliams is truly enriching downtown Danville, combining forward-thinking with traditional values like outstanding customer service and a concern for the greater community.
Although he has been an entrepreneur his entire life, McWilliams has never worked in the food industry like this before. “I own the Clothes Horse here in Danville too, but I wanted to try something new as well. I opened up the store because it was something different. There aren’t any restaurants quite like Franks around here,” McWilliams said.
Since opening in February 2013, Captain Franks has enjoyed steady success. “To me, the most rewarding part is that in general, our customers always come back. Everyone seems to like Frank’s. I have had many people say that they don’t normally even like hot dogs, but that they like Franks,” McWilliams said.
As Hooper noted, there are not yet any vegetarian options at Franks, but McWilliams has noticed that many Centre students and community members have been requesting some, and so he is on the lookout for a worthy vegetarian item to add to his already delicious menu.
“I’m totally open for vegetarian ideas! Tell people to send them my way,” McWilliams said.
Besides being very attentive to his customers’ needs, McWilliams is also attentive to the community at large. “We buy some of our meat from Marksbury, a local farm. We do it because they are local and we want to support them. I’m local too, so we try and support,” said McWilliams.
Franks is also supportive of community and Centre College events. “I do a lot of festivals in town, especially stuff like the Wilderness Trace Big Toy Day, where it’s a charitable event. We try and help out every organization. We also did Oktoberfest, Brass Band, etc.,” McWilliams said.
Given Captain Frank’s dedication to community involvement and quality service, not to mention the delicious food, it seems that it is the perfect place for Centre students to enjoy good food, good friends, and a good time. “It’s good, and it’s different. You can’t get this food anywhere else, and we aim to please. We have great food and great service, and a fun atmosphere,” McWilliams said. So the next time you’re looking for somewhere to eat, we recommend stepping into Captain Frank’s Hotdog Emporium—you’re sure to have a dog-gone good time.