Frank Ski: Legendary Atlanta Personality Talks Radio, Restaurants, and Rumors That He Shut Down Diddy’s Justin’s
For the past 14 years, Frank Ski has been one of the most prominent voices on Atlanta radio. He is currently half of the Frank Ski and Wanda in the Morning show on V-103, the same station where the legendary Greg Street has rocked Hip-Hop at 6 o’clock for nearly 20 years. Atlanta radio is like the people of the city itself. Full of local pride, mixed with a heavy influence of people born and raised in other locales, and always down for a good time. We also like consistency and quality, and in both of these areas, Frank Ski always delivers. So when he announced that he was opening his own self-titled restaurant in Buckhead, Atliens expected nothing but the best. And that is exactly what we got.
Frank Ski’s Restaurant and Lounge is an 8,000-square foot masterpiece. The restaurant has a beautiful urban chic décor including a gorgeous bar where master bartenders whip up incredible cocktails. A wine aficionado, Frank Ski also has an amazing wine list, including a few hard-to-find selections. Open seven days a week, Frank Ski’s serves lunch, dinner, and a splendid weekend brunch. The restaurant also boasts one of the best happy hours in the city and hosts an awesome day party on Sundays. The nine-month-old Frank Ski’s Restaurant and Lounge is also becoming the new place for the beautiful people to see and be seen in Atlanta. The restaurant has hosted numerous celebrity-filled events like Young Jeezy’s birthday party, LudaDay Weekend, and popular wine tastings.
Frank Ski’s Restaurant and Lounge is located just a stone’s throw away from the now closed Justin’s Restaurant, with the closing prompted rumors that Frank’s growing business shut down Diddy’s legendary eatery. AllHipHop.com talked to Frank Ski about the growing popularity of his restaurant and how he made his spot black Atlanta’s newest hot spot:
AllHipHop.com: What were some of the voids that have existed in Atlanta nightlife? How have you tried to fill them with Frank Ski’s Restaurant and Lounge?
Frank Ski: Think about like this, when you turn 21, you’re ready to go out every night. When you get to 25, and you start getting responsibilities, you’re going out a couple times during the week, maybe but mostly on the weekends. When you get to 30, you’re not even going out every weekend. When you get to 35 and 40, you might be going out once a month, when you get over 40, you’re only going out on special occasions, somebody’s birthday, stuff like that. Our core audience is between 25 and 35; we wanted to provide people with a place where they can eat, drink, and at 11 o’clock, we move the tables out and people can dance. The biggest population of African-Americans in Atlanta is 30 to 40-year-olds, so we wanted to be a place where grown folk are gonna go.
AllHipHop.com: Frank, I know you heard the rumor, but did you shut down Justin’s?
Frank Ski: Nah, we didn’t shut down Justin’s. I was hoping they would stay open; I really wanted them to. For them to be open 14 years was a phenomenal thing. For them to be open after 2006, after the recession started hitting and stay open through the recession? That’s a phenomenal thing. A lot of restaurants did not survive the recession. As Black people, we are quick to point out Justin’s because it was a staple for us, but a lot of great restaurants have closed in recent years.
AllHipHop.com: So, my story started out being about day parties…
Frank Ski: The first time I heard about day parties, I was in Dallas; this was maybe six or seven years ago. In my opinion, the reason why day parties are popular in a city like Atlanta or Dallas is because our city doesn’t have enough cultural events to bring people together. It’s not like New York where, on a Saturday afternoon, there is so much to do. In Atlanta, when you are young and single, and you are looking for young and single people, and there’s no party at the park or something like that? A club can open in the middle of the day, and everybody will come.
AllHipHop.com: What does Frank Ski’s have planned for the rest of the summer?
Frank Ski: We’re going to bring some hookahs in. We are starting a "Wind Down Wednesdays," where we will be hosting a wine event. People can join our wine club and learn about great wines and take trips to Napa Valley. We will be hosting Luda Day Weekend, a special VIP dinner, and some other events for that. Our event schedule is packed.
AllHipHop.com: Has that been a key to your success? Doing a lot of signature events?
Frank Ski: No. I think a lot of why people went to Justin’s was because they never knew who they were going to see or what celebrity they were going to meet. Atlanta is the number one tourist market for African-Americans, I want to be the number one tourist destination restaurant in Atlanta for African-Americans. We are starting to see a lot of tourists coming in. Last night, I got a text from Bill Bellamy that he was coming through, and when I got here, Chris Tucker was sitting here. That’s Frank Ski’s. You are always going to see somebody cool.
Frank Ski’s Restaurant and Lounge is located at 2110 Peachtree Road in Atlanta, GA. For more information on the restaurant or to make a reservation, visit www.frankskis.com. Follow Frank Ski on Twitter (@FrankSkisAtl).