Frappes Italian Grille Ormond restaurant still cooking after 30 years

Merna Delaurentis

Table of Contents ‘Pretty special’‘We’re so grateful’Made Just Right: About this seriesTimeline: 1990 ORMOND BEACH — It’s always tough to survive in the restaurant business, but the past few years have been filled with a series of formidable challenges for Frappes Italian Grille, a family-owned fixture on Granada Boulevard for more […]

ORMOND BEACH — It’s always tough to survive in the restaurant business, but the past few years have been filled with a series of formidable challenges for Frappes Italian Grille, a family-owned fixture on Granada Boulevard for more than two decades.

In 2018, self-taught chef Bobby Frappier, the restaurant’s namesake founder and creative force, died suddenly at age 70 after a brief battle with cancer.

From 2018: Self-taught chef Bobby Frappier, of Frappes in Ormond Beach, dies

From 2020: Coronavirus: DeSantis bans sit-down dining at restaurants

Two years later, in 2020, the coronavirus pandemic ravaged the restaurant business and other hospitality industries just as Frappes was recovering from the loss of its leader.

Through it all, Frappes has survived.

“We’re fighters,” said owner Meryl Frappier, who is singularly devoted to sustaining the restaurant that she and her husband built from its roots as a South Daytona sandwich shop that opened in 1990.

“Keeping Bobby’s legacy alive is very important, not only for me, but for the whole Frappes family,” she said, seated at a table in the restaurant’s cozy, deserted dining room a few hours before opening for dinner on a recent afternoon. “We’re tight-knit; small, but mighty.”

Family is a word that surfaces often when talk turns to the secret to Frappes’ success.

“It’s like ‘Cheers,’ where everybody knows your name,” said Rick Webb, 75, of Ormond Beach. He and his wife, Janette, have been regulars for roughly two decades.

“They have been so consistent with the people who work there, and they are such good people,” Webb said. “There’s a family feel to it. They’re not just people who wait on us. They know us and they look forward to seeing us.”

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