Outside of Frank's, the luxury SUVs line up in neat rows, while inside, the predominantly middle-aged and wealthy crowd sip on craft beers, and tuck into great bar food. There's a definite sense of an unofficial dress code, with Golf Dads rocking shorts and Superdry T-shirts and Soccer Moms wearing leopard-print blouses and skin tight pants. The waiters sport beards and tattoos and dress like they've stepped off a Levi's commercial, in skinny jeans and V-neck T's.
The bar has a cool, industrial feel, with bare light bulbs and blacked out walls featuring chalked on specials. There are a handful of deep booths with plushly upholstered seats that will suck you in and make it hard to leave before final rounds. The soundtrack ranged from Counting Crows, Third Eye Blind and Coldplay to recent hits from Imagine Dragons.
The first port of call on arrival must be the impressive list of beers, including perennial crowd pleasers like Darling Brew, CBC and Jack Black but extending to more unusual selections like the Imperial Tequila Ale (at R100 for 660ml). If you're not a beer drinker, there are some good wine choices too, as well as plenty of single malts and pretty much anything else that you're after.
Frank's shares a kitchen with Marco Paulo, so you can enjoy the fine bistro fare, or you can pick from a shorter list of bar specials on the wall. I started with a snack from the bistro menu - brinjal done three ways, including with risotto; parmigiana style, and atop bruschetta. Classy and tasty - particularly the risotto.
Now feeling really hungry, I went with the Frank's burger from the bar menu. It's a serious burger, featuring 250 grams of aged, grass-fed Angus beef from Greenfields in Mooi River; white cheddar; onion rings and chips. Apparently the meat is dry-aged on the bone for three weeks before mincing and flame grilling - it was certainly the best burger I've had in ages, full of flavour and so good I ate it all and was too full to finish the onion rings. This was sad, as the onion rings were excellent.
The dessert choices were rather limited to the usual suspects of crème brûlée and chocolate fondant, along with retro-classics like bread-and-butter pudding and apple crumble. I picked the chocolate fondant, and was not disappointed, probably the best one I've had anywhere, with a luxurious, molten chocolate interior nestled inside a light, crisp edged cake. Served with a simple scoop of vanilla icecream, it was understated but excellent.
So, I've broken the first rule of the Speakeasy (you do not talk about the Speakeasy) - but hopefully they will let me back in. I need to go back, firstly to try out the bistro experience at Marco Paulo next door, but also to return for another go at those onion rings.