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Franc(ly) my dear, we dough give a damn

Cult fave pizza slinger Franc Jrs comes to Nobby Beach.

Franc Jrs, Nobby Beach (Image: © 2024 Inside Gold Coast)
Franc Jrs, Nobby Beach (Image: © 2024 Inside Gold Coast)

No Gold Coasters, your eyes ‘dough’ not deceive you – at long last, the local legends behind famed pizza joints Franc Jrs and Francie’s are slinging their signature slice from a brand new location in Nobby Beach.

The newest eat-in iteration for the Franc fam – an old school vibing pizzeria – is packed with plenty of soul, promising that same trademark, ‘good, honest Italian food’ fans have long been smitten with.

Franc Jrs, Nobby Beach (Image: © 2024 Inside Gold Coast)
Franc Jrs, Nobby Beach (Image: © 2024 Inside Gold Coast)

Fromage fiends can settle in for their Franc fix – with laidback vibes alongside cult fave Classic pizzas, crisp, Detroit style deep-dish pies, and frozen Margi’s.

With a lineage that can be traced back to 1996, the Francie’s origin story is fascinating, rich – and similar to the effects of a few too many frozen Marg’s – a little fuzzy around the edges.

An operation now run by Anthony Pattinson, Claudia Pattinson, James Young and Carlos Lara – the charming, 60pax Coolangatta neighbourhood pizza joint known as Francie’s was born way back in an era when, along with pizza, Anthony counted Baywatch and RnB among his great loves.

Franc Jrs, Nobby Beach (Image: © 2024 Inside Gold Coast)
Franc Jrs, Nobby Beach (Image: © 2024 Inside Gold Coast)

The humble spot with a shoebox-vibing kitchen was soon overwhelmed by its own success – by year two they were averaging 150 peckish patrons a night – a number that blew out to 250-300 punters in the years that followed, a frenetic pace that they couldn’t maintain.

Franc Jrs Famous Pizzeria, Nobby Beach (image by Ben Trueman)
Franc Jrs Famous Pizzeria, Nobby Beach (image by Ben Trueman)

Ultimately opting to close the door on Francie’s (cue first crush levels of heartbreak), another opened in the form of Franc Jrs, the compact and casual takeaway style little bro.

When it came to delivering a new and improved restaurant offering, the challenge was retaining the charm, while scaling up and refining the offering to meet demand.

Franc Jrs, Nobby Beach (Image: © 2024 Inside Gold Coast)
Franc Jrs, Nobby Beach (Image: © 2024 Inside Gold Coast)

The new venue is a 60 seater with indoor and outdoor tables, opting for counter service to streamline the experience.

Complete with mob movie vibing mood lighting, red leather and wood finishes aplenty, the interior fit out is a throwback to the classic, 1940’s Italian American style restaurant.

Franc Jrs Famous Pizzeria, Nobby Beach (image by Ben Trueman)
Franc Jrs Famous Pizzeria, Nobby Beach (image by Ben Trueman)

The result is a nostalgic feeling Anthony likens to the 90’s rite of passage – hitting up the local salad bar, “like Pizza Hut’s all you can eat, only really, really good”, he adds.

Anthony’s life-long passion for slinging ‘pies’ – is immediately apparent in the drool-worthy menu.

The offering is split into three types – Traditional 13-inch ‘Francies classics’, 16-inch cheese pies and square, Sicilian ‘Detroit style’ pizzas, as well as a full vegan selection to boot.

Franc Jrs Famous Pizzeria, Nobby Beach (image by Ben Trueman)
Franc Jrs Famous Pizzeria, Nobby Beach (image by Ben Trueman)

Now pizza, along with a sneaky pun or three, is certainly something we’re no stranger to – with catchy monikers such as Francie’s Classic, ‘Sage Against the Machine’ made with fresh fior di latte, roasted mushrooms, pancetta, sage & pecorino, only further fuelling our obsession.

Fans of the Franc Jrs Signature – the loaded and crispy edged, Sicilian style slice – can get amongst Tomato, made with roasted cherry tomatoes, confit garlic, whipped lemon ricotta & chilli sauce or the cheese-packed White Stripe, topped with hot honey.

Franc Jrs, Nobby Beach (Image: © 2024 Inside Gold Coast)
Franc Jrs, Nobby Beach (Image: © 2024 Inside Gold Coast)

And with the calibre of slice selection the Franc Jrs crew is slinging, we certainly wouldn’t blame anyone struggling to choose.

But if the fan following for these pizza purveyors is anything to go by – satisfaction is a sure thing (and a carb coma).

Where: Shop 2/32 Lavarack Road, Nobby Beach
When: 4pm-10pm Wednesday – Saturday  

Words by Kellie Leader.

Franc Jrs Famous Pizzeria, Nobby Beach (image by Ben Trueman)
Franc Jrs Famous Pizzeria, Nobby Beach (image by Ben Trueman)

Cooly’s old skool pizzeria that can’t be topped!

Pizza and margaritas from Franc Jrs. (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)
Pizza and margaritas from Franc Jrs. (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)

Children of the 90’s, pay attention! Now this may be a bit controversial, but cast your memories back to a time when you’d go to a restaurant to actually….wait for it….eat. When there were no selfies, obligatory food porn shots, fake smiles or Insta pouts in sight. When posing was something strictly reserved for Dolly and Girlfriend cover girls, and oh how we loved the Taylor sisters…

Well, we know a crew who are bringing back the simplicity, authenticity and good times of the non-pretentious 90’s dining vibe, and this is the most refreshing thing we’ve heard all year! We’re talking a gimmick-free traditional pizzeria, brimming with warm family vibes and darn good food. Soz (but not soz) influencers, Franc Jrs Famous Pizzeria in Coolangatta is all about real food for real people….and we’re as excited as we were when the pilot of Dawson’s Creek aired #PaceyForeva.

Dining at Franc Jrs. (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)
Dining at Franc Jrs. (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)

If the name Franc Jnr sounds kinda familiar, that’s because it is. This Cooly game-changer is a reinvention of the insanely popular Francie’s (which will also make a comeback, but more on that shortly).

To refresh your memories, this place saw peeps arriving before open-o-clock still sitting at around 60th on the night’s waitlist. Whilst this was obviously a great problem to have, it made owners Anthony and Claudia Pattinson revaluate. Anthony had an idea to pivot and create a space solely focussed on what’s important (i.e., NOT the Insta-friendly factor), and how they could help define kids’ concept of the original pizza experience; homely, honest, humble and of course, delish. Being fellow kiddos of the 90s, Jimmy Young and Carlos Lara were on board, and an old-school NY-meets-classic-Italian vibe started to take shape. Kinda like a 1950’s Manhattan pizzeria, but in 1996, open in 2022. Capiche?

Sicilian Pizza from Franc Jrs. (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)
Sicilian Pizza from Franc Jrs. (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)

Increasing oven capacity by three, Franc Jrs is ready for the inevitable onslaught of Detroit-style Sicilian pan pizza lovers. Expect the same mind-blowing flavours and incredibly light airy pizza al la Francie’s style, but more travel-friendly (a win for takeaway fans) and with a little more crisp factor. For those who fancy dining in or street side, there is seating for 50+ bods but with a much more relaxed vibe than in its past life.

Accepting walk-ins only, you’ll be immediately transported way back when, with red leather studded booths hugging ruddy wooden tables. The dark moody wood booth bases and backsplash with old-school etch detail are straight outta yesteryear, as are the brass framed paintings, leadlight lamps, and red and white checked tables.

Booths at Franc Jrs. (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)
Booths at Franc Jrs. (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)

Owner Anthony also wears the Head Chef hat and we all know we can expect nothing but the best from this pizza maestro. If you order one thing and one thing only (you won’t) then it HAS to be the authentic Sicilian Square Detroit Style Pizza. Believe us, it is phe-NOM-inal and we’re pretty sure there’s nothing else like it outside of Sicily and the States.

The Classic 13 Inch Pies definitely classify as ‘Things That Make You Go Mmmm’, and the Eggplant Parmigiana will do things to your tastebuds that have not been done before.

Healthy folk, if you want to inject some greenery, then the Fancy Greens Salad will make you feel mildly less guilty for jamming so many carbs down your gullet.

Feel free to grab a beer or wine (you don’t have to ask us twice), and to keep the cocktail drinkers happy (us), there are a key few must-haves. Do yourself a favour and order an old-school Hard Arnold Palmers, a Frozen Limoncello and naturally, the boozey version of a big hug, a Margarita – Franc Jnr style!

Pizzas from Franc Jrs. (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)
Pizzas from Franc Jrs. (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)

Before we sign off, we teased earlier that Francies will be back…and only just up the street! Set to be a more refined sibling to the loud and proud Franc Jrs, there’ll be more focus on the process with fine wines, first-class small plates and records a-spinning. Date nights come at me.

So if you’re a pizza fanatic who appreciates a traditional no-frills, bells or whistles kinda vibe, and/or you’re simply a 90s kid looking to relive their local pizzeria experience, Franc Jrs is the only name you ‘knead’ to know.

Where: 2/102 Griffith Street, Coolangatta
When: Opening early September between 4pm – 9pm Wednesday – Saturday (and then lunch 6 days a week)

Words by Bianca Trathen.

Franc Jrs. counter (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)
Franc Jrs. counter (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)

15 epic Gold Coast pizza places

Photo by Fabrizio Pullara on Unsplash
Photo by Fabrizio Pullara on Unsplash

If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that anyone who doesn’t go mental at the mere mention of pizza, is, in fact, a weir-dough.

And no, we didn’t just say that for the pun, because in our eyes, pizza is a cocktail in edible form.

In other words, a ‘slice’ of heaven and we could never have too many, irrespective of the contribution to our love handles.

To pay homage to our numero uno nosh, here is list of local pizza joints in whom we eternally crust.

Loaded Supreme, La Casetta (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)
Loaded Supreme, La Casetta (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)

La Casetta
Transporting diners to the heart of Italy, this Paradise Point newbie does THE most traditional Nona-endorsed wood fired pizzas. Another quality Euro eats destination from GC Hospitality Group’s Jack Chaglasian and Mark Geraghty, our northerners are running, not walking, to wrap their jaws around these bad boys. Award-winning Head Chef Youseff brings both flavour and passion-a-plenty to the table and guys, its B.Y.O. Nuff said.
Our pick: The signature La Casetta Pizza
Where: Shop 9/2 Grice Avenue, Paradise Point

La Bella Cellar
This hidden gem knows how to woo a crowd! Back open for business, they are launching a brand spanking new menu in a few weeks’ time, and we are drooling in anticipation! Using the freshest seasonal and locally sourced produce (bravo), the only thing yummier than the nosh is the gorgeous Palm Springs-esk fit-out! Definitely one for the Insta feed.
Our pick: Garlic Prawns Pizza
Where: 3 Deodar Drive, Burleigh Heads

Mortadella Pizza, Tommy's Italian (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)
Mortadella Pizza, Tommy's Italian (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

Tommy’s Italian
When you see the red and white umbrella’s opposite the beach on Pacific Parade, park and enter immediately! This two-storey cutie serves up multi-million dollar ocean views and mighty fine pizzas to match (and cocktails…because nothing says happiness like a slice of Italy in one hand and a margi in the other). The staff are incredibly smiley and friendly, and you would be too if you were here every day!
Our pick: Tartufo Pizza
Where: 818 Pacific Parade, Currumbin

Gemelli
If you haven’t been to Gemelli Broadbeach (or one of its sibling restaurants), are you even an actual Gold Coaster? Cooking up real Italian food made with love, their traditional methods combined with modern flair mean all the meals are a ten-outta-ten. With a cosy yet cool rustic vibe, there are always bums on seats and the atmosphere is lit.
Our pick: Pescatore Pizza
Where: Mantra Broadbeach on the Park, 2685 Gold Coast Highway, Broadbeach

Cucina Vivo Dal Zotto Prosecco Long Lunch (image supplied)
Cucina Vivo Dal Zotto Prosecco Long Lunch (image supplied)

Cucina Vivo
If simple Italian flavours done exceptionally well toot your horn, then make a date with the Star Gold Coast’s Cucina Vivo. Chef Fabio has gained quite the cult following, affectionately known as the best Pizzaiolo Chef outside of Italy. This man is the master of the wood-fire oven, and the ever-popular venue’s secret weapon. After your pizza fix, pop up to Nineteen at the Star to dance it off!
Our pick: Fabio’s Pizza
Where: The Star Gold Coast, 1 Casino Drive, Broadbeach

Little Cooly
This joint is all about slinging pasta, pinot, and playful vibes with impressive coastal views. I mean, is that not everything we hold dear?! Whether it’s date night, catching up with mates or mustering the family for that long-overdue lunch, their friendly, laidback staff will make you feel at home. Using loads of deliciously fresh local ingredients, they feature some must-try unique combos. Challenge accepted!
Our pick: The Coolangatta Supreme
Where: The Strand at Coolangatta, Level 1, 72-80 Marine Parade, Coolangatta 

Little Cooly signage (image supplied)
Little Cooly signage (image supplied)

Bassk Italian
Another Cooly beachfront Italian stallion, the pizzas at Bassk are on-point. In addition to the nosh, they also do a mean (good mean) Friday arvo/evening sesh with a candlelight dinner and live tunes, then invite you to back it up with more live music and boogying on Saturdays from midday. Add two-for-one cocktails from 3pm-5pm Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and we are so there!
Our pick: Queen of Stracciatella Pizza
Where: Beach House Seaside Resort, 52/58 Marine Parade, Coolangatta

Precinct Brewing
Fans of pizza and beer (aka, everyone), this one’s for you! Boasting a brewery, taproom and a mouth-watering menu to boot, it’s a locally operated GC fave. Striving to connect with their ingredients, the land they were grown on, and the people that plant, pick, deliver and pour, the team is full of passionate souls who genuinely dig what they do #respect.
Our pick: Pulled BBQ Beef Pizza
Where: 17 Christine Avenue, Miami

Precinct Brewing Co. entrance (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)
Precinct Brewing Co. entrance (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)

Aviary Rooftop Bar
This 2022 Open Table Diner’s Choice award recipient nestled on top of the Mantra at Sharks hotel is known for its delicious handmade pizzas, cocktails, and sharing tapas-style dishes. Tuck into $15 pizzas on a Thursday and take in the sweeping views of our glitter strip’s skyline and the Hinterland. Oh and the fit-out – perfect for a selfie or 25.
Our pick: Hot Mess Pizza
Where: Mantra Southport Sharks, 5 Melia Court, Southport

Toro’s
Mediterranean and Moroccan vibes collide at Toro’s, with a whole lotta pink and panache! The spread here is quintessentially Italian, but with a healthy dose of tasty modern accents to keep us interested. It’s super relaxed yet chic vibe is right up our alley, and the pizzas will delight even the most discerning pizza connoisseur. Yep, she’s a winner on all fronts.
Our pick: Di Toro Pizza
Where: 7/2 Eighth Avenue, Palm Beach

Clockwise: Grilled corn, Zucchini prawn pizza, Caprese salad, Fettuccine boscaiola, Calamari fritta & Arancini balls, Toro's Pizza (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)
Clockwise: Grilled corn, Zucchini prawn pizza, Caprese salad, Fettuccine boscaiola, Calamari fritta & Arancini balls, Toro's Pizza (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)

Surfers Pizza & Kebab
Come on admit it – we’ve all lined up at the iconic SPK for a dirty kebab and/or giant slab of pizza at stupid o-clock after a night of boozing and boogying. With fresh and authentic pizzas, kebabs, snack packs and more, they’ve got your late-night hunger pangs sorted. Also open in Arundel, the hours may be slightly different, but the pizza quality is the same!
Our pick: Pepperoni Pizza
Where: 24 Orchid Avenue, Surfers Paradise & Corner of Napper Road & Daintree Drive, Arundel

Franc Jnrs Famous Pizzeria
This Cooly newbie is bringing back the old school with simplicity, authenticity, and good times. A gimmick-free traditional pizzeria rocking a non-pretentious 90’s dining vibe, you haven’t lived until you’ve sampled their Detroit style Sicilian pan pizzas. A reinvention of the insanely popular Francie’s (which will also make a comeback), we’ll see you there. Like, every night.
Our pick: Sicilian Square Detroit Style Pizza
Where: 2/102 Griffith Street, Coolangatta

Balboa Private Dining Space (image supplied)
Balboa Private Dining Space (image supplied)

Balboa Italian
You’ve seen it. We’ve all seen it. The big, modern rustic stunner on the highway in Palmy is a traffic-stopper and we’re pleased to confirm that what’s inside is as epic as the outside. IYKYK the nosh is amazing and if you don’t – get down there stat. In particular, the pizzas are #goals, divided into red and white sauce bases. Try them all because carbs, shmarbs.
Our pick: Carnivore Pizza
Where: 1069 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach

Justin Lane
Another long-standing GC winner, Justin Lane is the king of pizza. It’s come a long way from its humble beginnings, growing from a wee little pizzeria into a packed, multi-level restaurant, bar and event space. The perfect spot for a casual slice and catch up with your crew, you’re bound to run into at least 35 people that you know. And that’s just on a Monday.
Our pick: Margarita
Where: 1708-1710 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads

Justin Lane (Image supplied)
Justin Lane (Image supplied)

Cowch
Okay so we’ve given savoury pizza’s a good ‘ole plug in this list, so now it’s time to give our inner sweet tooth a little bit of a thrill and talk dessert pizzas! Using ingredients like fairy floss, M+M’s, toasted marshmallows, fruit, nuts and even cornflakes, it’s a guaranteed sugar high – and your dentist’s worst nightmare.
Our pick: Strawberry Blonde Pizza
Where: Oracle East Building, 1 Oracle Boulevard, Broadbeach

 

Words by Bianca Trathen.

Cowch Strawberry & Cream Pancakes + Lemon Meringue Crepes + Apple Pie Pizza (image supplied)
Cowch Strawberry & Cream Pancakes + Lemon Meringue Crepes + Apple Pie Pizza (image supplied)

Say Hello To The Oxley

The Oxley, Nobby Beach (Image: © 2023 Inside Gold Coast)
The Oxley, Nobby Beach (Image: © 2023 Inside Gold Coast)

There’s a new kid on the block in Nobby’s and it’s quite literally all we’ve been hearing about. The doors to one of the most talked about new precincts – The Oxley 1823 – are open.

Nobby’s has long been a hive of activity for the Coast, whether you’re looking for somewhere to get your morning caffeine fix (aren’t we all) or a margarita (actually, make that 10) it’s one of the best beachside spots around.

The Oxley, Nobby Beach (images by ABLO)
The Oxley, Nobby Beach (images by ABLO)

Now Nobby’s is bringing back that charm you know and love but with all the good stuff you’ve been missing, like you know a grocer and butcher.

The Calile-esque look is a welcome addition to Nobby’s, it’s giving a resort vibe and we’re absolutely all about feeling like we’re on vacay while doing our weekly grocery shop.

The Oxley Village Grocer, Nobby Beach (Image: © 2023 Inside Gold Coast)
The Oxley Village Grocer, Nobby Beach (Image: © 2023 Inside Gold Coast)

Not only have the team at The Oxley brought us a gorg new hangout spot, they’re also bringing us the legends behind Rick Shores who have announced a whole new concept coming to the precinct mid 2024.

The Oxley, Nobby Beach (images by ABLO)
The Oxley, Nobby Beach (images by ABLO)

A side-step from the Asian-style menu at the iconic Rick Shores, the new restaurant concept is set to bring a Latin American flavour by their Executive Chef James Brady, who’s been wining and dining at some of the world’s top Mexican and Latin American restaurants all in the name of market research – sounds like a job for us!

The Oxley, Nobby Beach (images by ABLO)
The Oxley, Nobby Beach (images by ABLO)

The space will spread across two levels with the Latin American restaurant on level one, an open-air rooftop ceviche bar and private dining rooms so there’s literally everything you need for the ultimate long lunch all in one spot.

The Oxley, Nobby Beach (Image: © 2023 Inside Gold Coast)
The Oxley, Nobby Beach (Image: © 2023 Inside Gold Coast)

In stage one of the precinct’s opening, you’ll see some familiar faces, with the brains behind Burleigh institution Seadog bringing a new café to the block. Buoy (pronounced boo-ee) is promising to deliver a pared back menu that is less on frills and big on flavour, think a super considered menu with the classics you know and love as well as fresh feeds with hero quality produce.

The Oxley, Nobby Beach (Image: © 2023 Inside Gold Coast)
The Oxley, Nobby Beach (Image: © 2023 Inside Gold Coast)

But what about the coffee we hear you ask? Think boutique harvested coffee from Colombia poured by expert baristas with unique flavours of milo and caramel – yes, you read that right – because life’s too short for boring coffee.

Also coming back to Nobby’s, is the legendary Gourmet Meats under the guise of the Oxley Village Butcher so you can say hello to premium meats to level up your BBQ game with fresh cuts from the best farms around.

The Oxley, Nobby Beach (images by ABLO)
The Oxley, Nobby Beach (images by ABLO)

The Oxley Village Grocer is bringing all the fresh produce and groceries you need as well as market flowers for whether you’re looking for ‘just because’ blooms or something that says ‘sorry I didn’t mean to forget your birthday’ – eek.

The Oxley, Nobby Beach (images by ABLO)
Gelato at The Oxley, Nobby Beach (images by ABLO)

Last but not least, all that shopping and socialising is thirsty work so the Oxley 1823 Sub Station is your stop for hydration station with juices and milkshakes that will def bring the boys to the yard, or a cheeky scoop of gelato because we’re in for a long hot summer.

We’ve been eagerly awaiting this pretty little newcomer and I think it’s safe to say it’s been worth the wait, so you know where to catch us kicking back for a bite and a beverage this summer.

The Oxley, Nobby Beach (images by ABLO)
Buoy, The Oxley, Nobby Beach (images by ABLO)

Where: The Oxley, 2217 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach
When: Opening Saturday 2nd December

Words by Jacqueline Bojanowski.

The Oxley, Nobby Beach (images by ABLO)
The Oxley, Nobby Beach (images by ABLO)
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