Home-Style Southern Meals

Fred’s Restaurant, Franklin

Jeff Greenough

A Saturday morning breakfast of waffles, trout and herring at Fred’s.

Walk into Fred’s Restaurant in downtown Franklin and you’re likely to be greeted by the eatery’s 94-year-old founder and namesake, Fred Rabil. If you happen to be female, he requires a hug. Fred’s is a fixture in the community—quirky, historic, enduring. The establishment’s t-shirts are wildly popular, featuring a decades-old caricature of Rabil as well as the slogan, “WHEREINTHEHELLISFRANKLINVA,” a nod to the southeastern town’s relative obscurity.

Fred’s has been around since 1945, offering home-style Southern-style meals plus small-town camaraderie and entertainment. Fred’s has survived several fires and a major flood, and now must adjust to the closure of the International Paper mill nearby. But David Rabil, Fred Rabil’s son and current manager of the restaurant, is optimistic. Says he: “We’ve survived so much in the past, and been around so long, we’ll get through this somehow.”

107 South Main Street, 757-562-2919

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