Frank Arnold said he feels as though he has circled back to his youth with the reopening Friday of Arnold’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers in temporary quarters in Crystal City Shopping Center.
“My first job when I was 16 years old was at Carl’s Coney Island just down the sidewalk here,” said Arnold in a packed dining room at lunchtime Friday. “I stayed there five years. When I was 21, I got my own Carl’s franchise. I had that for five years, then we opened Arnold’s.”
Arnold and wife Vicki operated Arnold’s at 1722 W. 51st St. for 33 years before being forced out by the property owners March 16, reportedly to make room for a Taco Bell.
Since then, the Arnolds announced they will build a new facility across the street from the former location.
“It probably will take about 18 months,” Frank Arnold said. “It will be bigger, have a drive-through and be more efficient than the old place.”
Meantime, they will set up shop in Crystal City, 4253 Southwest Blvd. The owners of The Lunch Box and La Lonchera, two businesses in one dining room, offered their space to Arnold’s on a temporary basis.
“When we move out, they will reopen their restaurants here again,” Arnold said.
The Arnolds have tried to give the temporary space a similar feel to the old one. The exterior sign is there, along with the neon “Arnold’s” inside and ’50s-themed decorations.
“The menu is exactly the same, and we even brought over the old grill we’ve been using for more than 30 years,” Arnold said.
Hours for Arnold’s will be 10:45 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday. The phone number is 918-445-4633.