Frank's Steak House was established in 1938 directly across the street from its current location on Mass Ave in Cambridge. Nobody remembers an actual "Frank" that owned it, however the land deed in the City Clerk’s Office does note that the parcel of land was once registered to a "Frank Viano". We assume he established the restaurant, however the locals have a better story. According to local legend, originally there was no name of the restaurant in its beginnings; however, there was a neighborhood friendly drunk named Frank who was always on the first stool in the bar. Evidently the owners looked at each other and said "why not?" and named the place after the friendly lush... Franks moved to its current location in May of 1940, further establishing it as Boston's and Greater Boston's Steak House.
Sometime thereafter a gentleman named 'Red" O'Connell bought the establishment and really got the place 'hopping'. His forte' was the liquor business, not the food business, so he hired a Chinese chef named Wee Leo who secured Frank's reputation as a very good local restaurant. If you were a neighborhood person, you knew that in addition to the regular menu, you could also ask for Chinese food and Wee Leo would provide some of the best around.
After Red passed away Bill Ravanis Sr. purchased the place in 1974. Through hard work and a spotless reputation, Bill built the business back up to its "hey day" making the piano bar, friendly staff, and famous New York Sizzling Steak Platter legendary in Cambridge.
Bill Ravanis' sons, George and Bill Jr., have kept the restaurant running the way their father demands, with excellent food, good service, and fair prices. Some of the recognitions Frank's has achieved include several of Boston Magazines "Best of Boston" awards including "Best Lounge" and "Best Neighborhood Restaurant". 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.