Franco to close on Feb. 20

After 10 years, Franco is closing its doors in Soulard. Owner Tom Schmidt made the announcement online; its last day of business is Saturday, Feb. 20.

“I feel like restaurants have a lifecycle sometimes,” Schmidt said. “Ten years is a really great run, and we’re proud of it, but it was time to say goodbye.”

In his online message to customers, Schmidt expressed gratitude to the staff, executive chef Jon Dreja and general manager Alex Adank. “Our loyal guests let us into their lives and became true friends,” he wrote. “Sharing our passions with theirs, this restaurant became more than just a place to dine.”

Schmidt, who also owns Salt & Smoke on Delmar Boulevard in University City, reflected on his time in the Soulard neighborhood. “It’s a passionate neighborhood and one of the first to pioneer urban renewal,” he said. “They are a supportive and wonderful neighborhood.

Schmidt said Salt & Smoke will continue to operate according to the current business plan, and he does not plan to open another concept in the Franco space. “It was my baby,” he said. “I opened it when I was 25, so this is very emotional. I couldn’t conceptualize anything else in that space.”

 Editor's note: This post was updated at 12:15 p.m. on Feb. 15 to include comments from owner Tom Schmidt.