Felony Franks, the fast-food restaurant formerly owned by Deno Andrews, an Oak Park village trustee, will soon take on new life as Surf’s Up, which specializes in soul food and seafood dishes of all kinds.
Andrews’ three-year run with Felony Franks, 6427 W. North Ave., ended last November. In addition to being owned by an elected official, Felony Franks had the distinction of hiring ex-offenders and giving quirky names like “Misdemeanor Wiener” to its menu items.
Oak Park resident Denise Roy, who co-owns two other Surf’s Up locations in Maywood and South Shore with her husband, Eric Roy, said she had noticed that Felony Franks had been closed for several months and inquired about the space.
Roy said they opened the first location in Hillside in 2012, but the building was later demolished by the owner. The other two current locations opened in 2014.
Fried-green tomatoes, fried biscuits – Roy likened them to beignets – and fried catfish are among the menu items diners would be hard-pressed to find at other restaurants, Roy said.
She said the restaurant is ready to go, and all they need is to complete inspections of the facility.
“We could open up tomorrow if we had the license, because (Andrews) kept it in pristine condition,” Roy said.
She said Andrews “gave us a sweet deal” on the kitchen equipment still located in the shuttered establishment.
Andrews, who also runs the nonprofit Rescue Foundation, which works to encourage businesses to hire ex-offenders, pitched Roy on hiring some of the former Felony Franks employees.
“We like his concept with ex-felons and giving people a second chance,” she said.
Roy said she and her husband and a few other business partners are working to create Surf’s Up franchises throughout the city and the rest of the country.