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