This is a review of a wonderful and cosy restaurant with great food and service - that doesn't exist.
I discovered Hos Frank in the hot summer of 2018. They had a unique selling point - low traffic, pedestrian street combined with outdoor seating - and soon I was going there almost every day. When the summer was over and it no longer felt like being in an oven, the tasty warm stews kept me coming back.
The stews deserve a mention of their own. There would always be three stews as "today's special" - a meat, a chicken, and a vegetarian. They were uniformly excellent.
Hos Frank managed to serve proper food, serve it fast, and make it taste great. Combine this with a nice environment and excellent service, and you can see why the place became an oasis during summer and a warming hearth during winter. By now I was referring to it as "my favorite restaurant". It was a welcome pause during good days, and a refuge during bad ones.
Then Covid-19 came. I remember the owner, Adrian, asking me if I thought it'd be a big thing, and I replied that "no, it's just some local Chinese thing, we've been through this before with SARS and MERS". Not my best prediction.
Then from one day to the next - March 16 to March 17 to be exact - the number of guests dropped by 90%. The Swedish Public Health Service had "recommended" - that is, half-ordered - everyone who could to work from home. Hos Frank made its money from office workers having lunch: no office workers, no money.
Adrian sacked his employees. It was going to be a rough time.
I started going there exclusively. If I was going to spend any money on food or coffee, it'd be there, at my favorite restaurant.
Spring turned into summer. The number of guests went up - agonizingly slowly, but they did go up. By early June the restaurant broke even, albeit only due to Adrian's working himself to death. Then, as summer turned into autumn and we neared October, it looked like my favorite restaurant would indeed survive 2020, the annus horribilis.
But suddenly, in no more than two weeks, a sequence of disasters happened and the restaurant was sold.
On October 31, twenty years of Hos Frank on Gamla Brogatan, like all good things, came to an end.
We'll see what happens next.
Wait, Who's Frank?
Nobody. The first name of the restaurant, proposed but never used, was "Fastfood", but the owners weren't allowed to register that name - so it became "Fastfoot". But that name, in turn, caused people to think that it was a shoe store. So the name "Hos Frank" ("At Frank's") was chosen, Frank being something people would recognize as a name.