The Fred Rogers Company issues cease-and-desist orders objecting to the name that’s linked to the wholesome children’s show.
Franktuary is planning to open in Market Square, taking the spot where Fat Tommy’s Pizzeria has thrived for 15 years.
Tim Tobitsch and Megan Lindsey have not yet set an opening date for Franktuary, which will be located at 115 Forbes Ave., between McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts. The Franktuary food truck, however, will occasionally park in front of the Fat Tommy’s location beginning on St. Patrick’s Day, Tuesday.
The restaurant already has one location in Lawrenceville.
Fat Tommy’s owner Tommy Balestreire sold the space after listing it for sale several months ago. The pizzeria will close around May 1. Mr. Balestreire said he plans to pursue other ventures.
“It’s projects like this one that make me really love what I do,” said Carey Miklos, vice president of business development for Sofranko Advisory Group LLC. “It’s a perfect passing of the torch from one of the older establishments to a newer concept and demonstrates the change occurring in Pittsburgh. I’m really excited about this opportunity for Franktuary.”
Mr. Tobitsch and Ms. Lindsey opened the original restaurant, called Hot Dogma, in 2004 in the basement of Trinity Cathedral, Downtown. Their first two years were what they called the “one employee era.” By 2006, a potential lawsuit prompted them to change the name to Franktuary.
“During that time period,” they wrote on their blog, they learned “important life skills such as how to make ends meet on less than $10,000 per year after taxes, how to strip and re-wax a tile floor without incurring serious injury and how to navigate a potential federal lawsuit without a paid attorney.”
They followed the flagship by launching a food truck in 2010 and opening the Lawrenceville location in January 2013. In Lawrenceville, diners can choose from a slew of cocktails, craft brews and a food menu of six types of hot dogs and a flurry of ingredient combinations, as well as salads, pierogies, poutine, along with vegetarian and vegan-friendly options.
By July last year, they closed the Trinity Cathedral location, fittingly, on National Hot Dog Day.
A new location Downtown isn’t all that’s new in the lives of Ms. Lindsey and her husband: She had a baby late last year.
Melissa McCart: 412-263-1198 or on Twitter @melissamccart.