By Sarah Brusig
BREAKING: Fourth generation Burien residents Frank Genzale and his wife Sue have meticulously carved out an effervescent spot in the lives of residents near and far at their beloved Frankie’s B-Town Bistro located at 635 152nd Street SW.
Originally opened in 2015 by Frank and his cousin Frank Yellam Jr., Frankie’s B-Town Bistro has continued to offer fresh, authentic Italian fare in the heart of the city. Now, the Genzale and Yellam families have announced it’s time to transfer their establishment to new ownership.
The news of the sale came as a surprise to patrons Friday when staffers told guests that their last dinner service would be Saturday, Feb. 19. Linda Akey, Burien resident and founder of CANDO (Competent Assistance of Nonprofits), was one of the guests who learned of the news and will greatly miss the vibe at Frankie’s B-Town Bistro. Akey and her fiancé Mike Flynn have frequented the establishment for years.
“We have enjoyed getting to know Frank and Sue through our times eating at Frankie’s. We will miss them,” Akey told The B-Town Blog.
The new ownership will continue an Italian restaurant in the same footprint, but under a new name. No additional details have been confirmed yet.
Married for 53 years, Frank and Sue created a hot spot for old friends and newcomers alike with Frankie’s B-Town Bistro – and it was all a part of the plan. With such deep ties to the city, the close-knit community was already there – waiting for their arrival.
“We grew up here, we see a lot of our high school friends,” Frank told KIRO News in 2019. “Sue and I have been dating since the 8th grade.”
When asked by KIRO why they chose to open the restaurant, the two laughed and shared, “Between the two of us, we know pretty much everybody in Burien. We’re here [at Frankie’s] every night. We love it.”
For a retrospective, Frank’s family began selling produce at Pike Place Market in 1928 after his grandfather Frank “Cheech” Genzale and his grandmother Angelina emigrated from Mirabella, Italy. They harvested their crops on a plot of land just outside of Burien in Sunnydale with their son Tony and then took their offerings to the Seattle marketplace.
In 1979, Frank and Sue opened their own stand – Frank’s Quality Produce. Their mouth-watering picks are literally embedded in every meal throughout their restaurant with world-class wine pairings to match.
Service and a commitment to community has always been the Frankie’s B-Town Bistro way. Whether through their ties to the Make-A-Wish Foundation or offering meals to healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, Frankie’s B-Town Bistro has shown consistently that class and persistence to do the right thing are always more important than business as usual.
Now, as ownership prepares to change hands, Frank and Sue’s legacy will continue in the memories of family, friends, colleagues, and patrons.
This is a developing story.