Down a dark street, the flashing neon sign of Frankie’s beckons; a nondescript door, a stoic security guard.
But descend its stairs, and you’re transported to a subterranean rock and metal haven.
Frankies Pizza is well known to Sydney’s rock ‘n’ roll lovers, and 22-year-old manager Callum Ryan has, in his three years there, he admits seen some unusual scenes.
“The whole chaotic energy of the place is what makes it so attractive to people, and that’s what turns it into a melting pot of very individual people who are unafraid to be themselves,” he said.
Post Malone was here a couple of years ago, serving beers to people.
In the 10 years Frankies has operated in Hunter Street, it’s had some serious history.
“We’ve had members of the Chilli Peppers rock up, guys from Alice Cooper’s band… Post Malone was here a couple of years ago, serving beers to people,” Callum said, adding: Machine Gun Kelly… most of the Foo Fighters, there’s too many to name.”
The bar is set to be demolished as part of the building of the Metro West line, from Parramatta to the CBD. According to SydneyMetro, the new 50km line will begin construction late this year.
Favourite locales like Frankies and the nearby Hunter Connection have been “forcibly acquired” and will be demolished as the line is built where they currently stand – part of 13 commercial buildings set for the wrecking ball.
When asked if Frankies will rebuild, Callum replied: “Frankie’s is this location. Moving it might tarnish it. I think [the owners] will let it die.”
It’s a devastating blow for those rockers who regard Frankies as a second home. Yet, the final date for its closure has not yet been confirmed.
“We don’t really know when the D-Day date is, just a rough idea,” said Callum. “We’re bracing for impact, preparing ourselves… for a shit storm.
“I think Frankie’s will have this moment and go out with a bang.”
All photos by Emily Leventhal.