ARLINGTON, TN (WMC TV) - The fat lady just sang for Fat Boy Frank's.
Owner Frank Whitington has permanently closed his fledgling restaurant on Highway 70. The front door sports an eviction notice and a Shelby County code enforcement citation for "failure to obtain use and occupancy permit and sign permit."
Whitington has struggled from the get-go, starting with a failed health inspection in October. (Read and watch that Scorecard here: http://www.wmctv.com/Global/story.asp?S=11384607)
After Whitington passed his re-inspection, Action News 5 started receiving calls and e-mails about unpaid employees and vendors. A firewood vendor said Whitington wrote him a "hot check."
Whitington denied all the allegations. Despite the eviction notice on his front door, he said he voluntarily closed Fat Boy Frank's because of what he called "unresolvable issues" with the property's landlord.
"The town of Arlington has been most gracious, and we would like to relocate within the town limits," wrote Whitington in an e-mail. "We also have a second location identified in Memphis, and we are pursuing investors to open it as well."
THIS WEEK'S BIG TIP: Vinegar Jim's, 12062 Forrest St., Arlington, TN, 901-867-7568, http://www.vinegarjims.com/
If the chairs aren't all rocking on the front porch, it's a good time to come knocking at Vinegar Jim's, voted by our viewers as the Best Place to Eat in Arlington, TN.
Folks love the country-fried atmosphere, the lickety-split service and owner Kirk Wise (no relation!). Wise puts his staff's hospitality ahead of his food, which in itself is pretty darn good.
"We have some of the best steaks. I'll tell you, I'll put them up against anybody," said Wise. "But I also want you to be able to put your feet up in here when you come eat a steak."
His staff is a devoted one - devoted to fast service, meticulous food prep and a fun atmosphere.
"I come because of the atmosphere...because of him and their personality, the way they treat the people," said Charles Akin from the University of Memphis area.
WHAT ANDY LIKES: Susie Q Meatloaf, Rib Eye Steak, Blackened Salmon, Fried Pies
For all of the latest Memphis-Shelby County restaurant scores, click here.
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