jc: I thought we’d piss it in, but radio is really difficult.
fp: It’s very hard to do. I had a show for the first four years. I had Fridays from 8 to 10, and I gave it up, because Mark Ronson wanted a show and he could only do that slot. And I was like, “Fuck it. I’ll give it to Mark.” I was getting tired of doing it anyway. I didn’t have the time to be digging in crates. I had pretty much played everything that I wanted to play at that point. I was going to have to start playing things over again. I was like, “What am I going to do? I’m out of music.” And I couldn’t really go hunting like a lot of these guys do. I just don’t have the time, so I gave Mark my slot and about a year later, we did the five-year anniversary down at South Street Seaport. We had Osiris, we had KRS-One, we had Flying Lotus. It was fucking amazing. I hired Pete to come in and take the station over and make it serious, because we were kind of playing around up until then. It was like a college station almost, but we had a lot of great DJs and we had a lot of great shows. We had a lot of listeners, but we kind of changed gears at that point. As soon as I took these two spaces over here, that’s when we got the FCC’s cease and desist, so I just put it in the storefront and went Internet only. We waited for the Internet to catch up, and it finally did three years later.
jc: How did the Chances with Wolves guys end up on EVR?
fp: Well, we had a waiting list for shows on EVR. They came in and tried out, and we loved them. That was it.
jc: I love that show, everyone does. It’s amazing. Have people who’ve worked at your restaurants gone on to open their own spots in the city?
fp: A lot of people who’ve worked for me have, and I’ve helped them. I’ve been kind of like a mentor to a lot of people. Mikey Chernoff opened up The Meatball Shop. He worked for me over at Frank for about eight years as a bartender. Thiru opened up a place called Dino in Fort Greene, which is like a very close copy of what I did at Frank Restaurant. He used to be the manager of Frank Restaurant. There are a couple more. I’ve had a lot of employees.
jc: I’ve been coming to Lil’ Frankie’s for about ten years now, and one of the things I love most is the music you play here, also the burrata. Wait, where do you guys get that burrata? It’s insane.
fp: Well, that’s something that’s very personal to me, because I brought that burrata in myself. I connected my cheese guys with this guy in Puglia that I knew, and that’s the cheese that we have. So we have the best burrata that I’ve ever had. It’s flown in from Puglia every Wednesday afternoon. We usually have it by Wednesday night, Thursday morning. So it’s super fresh, and by Saturdays it’s gone.
jc: It’s so good.
fp: We go through about twelve cases at each location at this point. That’s almost 300 burratas at each location.
jc: Wow. Anyway, so I’ll here, and I’ll be eating the best burrata in the city, but I’ll also be listening to death metal. That’s the best thing about this place.