Iconic SOCO business, Fran's Hamburgers closes

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by KVUE News

kvue.com

Posted on April 8, 2013 at 5:31 PM

Updated Saturday, Nov 9 at 9:21 PM

AUSTIN -- An iconic business on South Congress is closing its doors. Fran's served it's last burger and shake Sunday.

As the Fran's sign that stood on the corner of South Congress and Mary for 40 years came down, the only person watching from inside the iconic restaurant was Fran Junk.

"It's a little sad," she said.

"There were some tears shed," said Tony Junk, Fran's son and operator of the Cameron Road Fran's.

He couldn't help but reminisce.

"I remember washing root beer mugs with my brother John after school when we were seven, eight, nine years old," he said.

For Tony and Fran, the writing was on the wall for some time. However, it was only available for patrons to see as of Sunday. A note on the front door reads, "Thank you Austin, for 40 great years. Our 40 year lease is up, and we couldn't renew another long-term lease."

"They're really changing a lot on South Congress, and the little people - pop and mom - are getting out of the way," said Fran.

It's a feeling Short Bus Subs owner Eric Klusman knows too well. His food trailer, and just about every other one along South Congress, have to be gone in about a month.

"Change is a coming," said Klusman. "We have to make way for the big business right? It's not fair, but it's kind of the way of the world. The way of the dollar, I guess."

South Austin residents and Fran's customers stopped to take pictures and video of the closing of another South Austin iconic business.

"It makes me sad, because it's such a long standing part of South Austin and South Congress," said Robert Murphy, who once lived in South Austin.

"I grew up in Austin," said Amy Campbell. "I remember in the 80s, how Fran's and Dan's split up. It just feels like a part of Austin that is going."

Fran says while her South Congress location may be no more, she owns the property the Cameron Road Fran's sits on, so there's no long-term lease to worry about.

"We're local and we belong here," she said. "We still have a big name that we're going to maintain forever."

The iconic Fran doll that sits atop the South Congress location will be moved to the Cameron Road location.

KVUE News was told it will take a couple of months and a new hairdo before she's ready to be unveiled.

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