Tag Archives: Harry Akin

The Frisco is Closing

Austin Landmarks on the Menu - Food - The Austin Chronicle

Red is weeping today as The Frisco on Burnet Road in Austin will be closing up shop on July 29.  From his early days, Red always enjoyed many a Fabulous Frisco burger with plump fresh cut fries and a dinner salad with 1000 Island with his family and later while sitting at the counter at the iconic spot in North Austin.  And he even enjoyed the occasional splurge of a slice of banana cream pie.  Red was fond of one waitress in particular who always asked him “Do you use ketchup?”  To which Red always wanted to reply that he not only used ketchup – he abused it.  In recent years, Red almost always stopped at The Frisco when he was in town even after it moved a mile or so up Burnet Road.

The Frisco was the last of the Night Hawk chain of restaurants.  The Night Hawk was started in 1931 by Harry Akin, a former Austin mayor, on S. Congress.  A second location near the UT Campus on The Drag was opened in 1933.  Other locations were in San Antonio and Austin.  Akin was a pioneer in desegregation and his restaurants were among the first in Texas to break the color barrier and serve all people.  His restaurants were also largely staffed by women and minorities.

Red is inconsolable.

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