Highland High School - Albuquerque - Class of 1960


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Franks Drive In

"No Right Turn From Washington   8:00PM until 6:AM"

On July 29, 2000, Frank George Altrichter died.  Now the rest of the story.  Frank was the owner and founder of Franks Drive In.  Many of our classmates still living in Albuquerque many have been aware of Frank's death, but most of us outside of the State probably are not.  Anyway, I just thought I would pass this on. 

Frank George Altrichter, 81, died July 29th, 2000 at his home in Albuquerque after a brief illness. Born in Chicago, Frank moved with his parents to Colorado Springs, Colorado, as a young child. After graduating high school, Frank worked in Colorado Springs for several years before marrying his high school sweetheart, Leona May Bishop. Frank moved to Albuquerque to start a family and a career as a restaurateur. At the outbreak of WWII, he enlisted in the Army-Air Corps and received training as a pilot. Frank returned to Albuquerque after the War and continued in the restaurant business. In 1953, he started the local landmark Frank's Drive In, which became a popular cruising spot for high school students in the 60's and sold Frank's famous tacoburgers, tater dogs, and fresh limeades. Frank was active in the New Mexico Restaurant Association, serving as both its President and Director. In 1979, Frank expanded his business to include Frank's Other Place and Frank's Little Place in downtown Albuquerque; several years later, he added Frank's On Fourth. Frank retired in 1987, but continued to be available as a consultant to the new owners of Frank's Other Place. Frank is survived by his wife of sixty years, May; their son, Gary and his wife, Greer; their daughter, JoAnne and her husband, Robin; their nephew, Tony; nieces Carol, Janet, and Charlene; and granddaughter, Amy. The demands of his businesses left Frank with little time for hobbies, but he enjoyed flying and for a short time owned a Cessna Piper Cub. His true love, though, was automobiles and he owned several classic cars, including a '56 T-Bird convertible. Frank truly loved people and was happiest when making them laugh. His family and friends will always remember his ready wit and joyous laughter, which were most evident when telling stories of his mischievous childhood, eccentric grandmother, escapades as a serviceman during the War, and humorous incidents at the Drive In. The success of his restaurants was due to more than just business acumen. Regular patrons were always greeted with a smile and many times a joke, for Frank enjoyed his customers, always trying to make their visit a special one. Per Frank's wishes, there will be no memorial service. Instead, the family extends an invitation to anyone who has a fond memory of Frank or the Drive In and wishes to share it with the family to write it down and mail it to Altrichter, 1102 Madison SE, Albuquerque 87108. If you aren't the writing sort, next time you are enjoying a really good cheeseburger, milk shake, or a cherry coke, remember Frank and his joyful smile.

Story contributed by Bert Sena.

Frank's is now the home of Hurricane's Cafe.
(Photo compliments of Bill Winkler)

The building that has housed Hurricane’s since 1990 was originally opened as Frank's Drive In in the 1950s. The '50s atmosphere remains as the decor teems with nostalgia and plenty of pictures from that bygone era. For something a little different, dine in your car at one of the outdoor stalls. Menu specialties include the Disaster Burrito, which feeds four and comes with two beef and bean burritos with fries and chile on top, and those with a sweet tooth might opt for a shake or an Aftershock, a brownie with ice cream and hot fudge. Breakfast and weekends tend to get the most crowded. Hurricane's even plays host to a few vintage car shows every year, so plan ahead if you want to dine on '50s food while you take a peek at some nice hot rods.

December 21, 2011