Frank’s Steak House
Compiled by Deb Mandel, 2022. Above photo by Marion Severynse, 2023.
1938 – present
2310 Mass Ave., North Cambridge
Frank’s is Boston’s oldest established steak house. In 1938, it operated across the street, then put down roots in 1940 in its current spot. What’s amusing is that no one’s really sure who Frank was. The City Clerk’s Office notes that the parcel of land was once registered to a “Frank Viano,” and the preferred assumption is that he probably established the restaurant, which in its early days had no name. A more colorful theory says a regular barfly named Frank inspired its moniker. Owner “Red” O’Connell made the place a success, and when he died in 1974, it was taken over by Bill Ravanis Sr., who’s family continues to serve up NY Sizzler Sirloins, Surf & Turf, Italian food, American red wines and cocktails.
On February 1, 1990 a grease fire gutted the eatery, and Frank’s held a private reopening on June 29th with Dixieland band, New Liberty Jazz Band supplying the music from the back of a 1941 fire engine.
The Ravanises spent $500,000 on renovations, which included an addition. In 2012, Frank’s underwent another major renovation “to enhance its comfortable environment.”
Some of the recognitions Frank’s has achieved include several of Boston Magazine’s “Best of Boston” awards including “Best Lounge” and “Best Neighborhood Restaurant.” The Boston Globe gave an excellent review in their “Cheap Eats” section and the Channel 5 TV show “Chronicle” gave Frank’s “The Best Of Cheap Eats.” The Phantom Gourmet gave Frank’s an “86” rating as well as placing it in the “Top 5″ for Steakhouses, Comfort Food, and Neighborhood Restaurants.
Chabot, Hillary. “Cantabrigia There is Life in North Cambridge.” The Cambridge Chronicle, 28 November 2001, p.19.
Farmelant, Scott. “Family-owned Frank’s Serves Neighborhood Steak House Fare. The Cambridge Chronicle, 26 August 1993, p.20.
“Frank’s is Back in Business After Fire.”The Cambridge Chronicle 5 July 1990, p.11.
Gaulkin, Gregory. Fire Destroys Frank’s Restaurant on Mass. Ave.”The Cambridge Chronicle 8 February 1990, p.3.