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Johnny Franco's Place

Home > Gold Coast > Restaurants | Lunch | Food and Wine | Family | Dinner
by Maureen Durney (subscribe)
I think Iíve got this retirement thing figured out: sleep; wake; write; repeat. I love it! You can follow my journey at Life is Good
Published October 20th 2019
Who the heck is Johnny Franco?
The media has warned us, and research has confirmed, that social isolation can have a negative impact on our health. And there is no better place to develop your social network than at Johnny Franco's Place (Restaurant) in Murwillumbah.

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I'll meet you there...

So what does Johnny Franco's Place have to do with social isolation?


There are plenty of places to meet in Murwillumbah if you want a quick catch-up with friends.

But if you are looking for somewhere:
  • To linger longer
  • To meet new (potential) friends in a safe environment
  • Where it feels like you are sitting in your own home with friends or family
...then Johnny Franco's Place is where you need to be. It's like an extension of your place.

All you have to do is get your social network together and head on over to Commercial Road Murwillumbah.

But what if I don't have a social network?

Social Media can be the ideal tool for reaching out to connect with others. There are a lot of critics of Facebook, but if used wisely, it can be a lifeline to a social network within your community.

But opening our homes or offering our address to strangers can be fraught with danger. So, arranging to meet in a public place that feels like home (like Johnny Franco's Place), is a much safer plan.

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It feels like home... but someone else does the dishes

Johnny Franco's Place provides the safety of a neutral meeting-point, as well as all the ambience you need to foster your social networking.

If seeking new real-time friends on Facebook isn't your thing, then check out some of the 'locals-nights' organised by Johnny Franco's Place.

Johnny Franco's Place website, and 'Murwillumbah Matters' Facebook page (hosted by Trish), is where you can find out what's happening at Johnny Franco's Place (and the wider community).

There's plenty of room...

The large dining area makes sharing a meal feel just like sitting around your table at home. There are options to cater for large groups or just you and a buddy or two. You gather the friends, Johnny Franco's Place will provide the seating. Oh, you might want to phone ahead and book a large table if you are planning on meeting your tribe there.

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Bring the family or meet your tribe here - there's plenty of room

But all we want is a coffee...

Sofas and coffee tables are positioned to provide the homely feel of your own living room. And with distinct sections, more than one group can be accommodated simultaneously. Coffee, tea, milkshakes and a variety of liquid refreshments are listed on the menu. There is everything you need for that quick cuppa or long coffee break, including alternate milk options.

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The comfortable sofas encourage you to linger longer

Two large rugs on the floor add to the ambience and provide a catalyst for conversation. See if you can guess what the fluffy, brown rug was in a past life? Trust me, it has sparked conversation among diners every time I've been there. And nah... I'm not going to tell you. Just have fun guessing when you get there.

Lighting is a mixture of direct sunlight streaming through large arched windows, and fascinating electrical illumination. Light enough to see, yet soft enough to create a subtle, relaxed mood.

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The soft lighting is subtle enough for a cozy get-together

How is the accessibility?

Being on ground level, there are no stairs to climb or tight spots to manoeuvre. If you have a mobility-device, there is plenty of room to access the various areas.

There is kerbside parking outside and nearby, and an easy-walk of a few blocks to the bus stop.

Yeah but - what about the food?

The number of people who dine at Johnny Franco's Place is a testament to the quality and affordability of meals. The best option is to check out the photos on the website that highlight some of the great meals available. Oh, and don't forget to check out the prices as well. You are in for one heck of a surprise at how affordable they are.

And for that light snack, there are plenty of options.

Need some alone time?

Social interaction is vital, but having a balance between social networking and recharge time is just as important. So if you are looking for some quiet solace away from the crowd, you can slip into Johnny Franco's Place, grab a book off the shelf, and read while you enjoy a coffee - or two.

Sure, you could do that at home, but guess who makes the coffee and does the dishes at home?

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Just grab a book off the shelf and find a quiet spot...

On a sunny Saturday afternoon, I wandered into Johnny Franco's Place for some 'alone' time. My default position at snack time is a chocolate milkshake, so that took care of the drink decision.

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Ah... there's nothing better than a chocolate milkshake...

And a quick scan of the menu cemented the choice of a pesto pizza. There is something about pesto that draws me in every time. And I certainly wasn't disappointed with the flavour - it went beyond my expectations. The topping featured a nutty texture with a hint of sauce that was delicious! Not being a sauce-connoisseur, I have no idea what it was, I just loved it!

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My afternoon snack - sorted!

And the total cost? Less than $15.00 (at time of writing).

If a drop (or two) of ale makes your meal more enjoyable - red wines, white wines, cider and a selection of beers can be found on the drinks menu.

Beer;wine;Johnny Franco's Place;Murwillumbah
Like a wine, beer or cider with your meal?

You could schedule a Sunday morning breakfast, or a late dinner any Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday night. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the perfect days for a long lunch or afternoon tea. And any day is great for some quiet time over a coffee while you kick back and enjoy the ambience.

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Image from Johnny Franco's Place website

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Relax in the soft, comfy sofa and enjoy a coffee (or something stronger?)

Almost forgot - there's even Happy Hour from 5pm-6pm Thursday-Monday. Now there's a social idea!

Hey, did I tell you who Johnny Franco is?

Well, without giving too much away, there's an interesting story to how Johnny Franco's Place got its name. Kasey, the proprietor, and her chef-husband, Adam, have a common theme of names in their family histories. So the name 'Johnny Franco's Place' is a clever play on names from both their families. But you'll have to ask them, or read about it on the wall to find out more.

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Kasey and Adam will take care of everything...

Check the Johnny Franco's Place website for current information about trading hours and menu items. If you can tear yourself away from the gallery of photos on the Home page, you'll find the trading hours at the bottom of the page.

Don't mistake the elegance of the decor for what I call, 'chandelier' food prices. You won't find high-prices at Johnny Franco's Place. Meals are really affordable!

While we're talking about the food, you'll be pleased to know that local produce is sourced for most of the dishes prepared at Johnny Franco's Place. And trust me, Murwillumbah is no slouch when it comes to high-quality, local produce.

How does a Bison Burger with blue cheese, bacon, mixed leaves, tomato and jalapeŮo popper, served with sweet potato fries sound for lunch? And you'll get change from a $20 note (at time of writing

Don't Panic!

Vegetarians are catered for, and there are Gluten Free options as well.

Kasey John Brown will take good care of you at the front of house. And no, there are no hyphens in Kasey's name. You'll just have to go there to find out how she got her name. Hint: The answer lies in the photo titled: Johnny who?

Adam will slave over a hot-stove in the kitchen to bring you the amazing meals that make Johnny Franco's Place so popular in Murwillumbah (and beyond!). Perhaps it's the European and Southern American flavours that influence Adam's culinary style that makes it so good?

This place has everything covered: elegance; comfort; great food; drinks; excellent service. But best of all, it has family-oriented prices that make it super-affordable.

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Sure wish I had a wall like this at my place...

And before you ask "where is Murwillumbah?", let me explain. Murwillumbah is a beautiful little town about thirty-minutes drive south of the southernmost end of the Gold Coast. Just over the border on the New South Wales side. But be prepared for spectacular scenery along the way - because we've got it all: Mount Warning; the Tweed River; the Caldera (of the extinct Volcano), and lots of sugarcane fields.

So when you are arranging your next social get together with friends or family, don't just settle for the old "Your place, or mine?" routine.

Tell them you'll meet them at Johnny Franco's Place in Murwillumbah.

Then you can all kick back and relax, enjoy good food, wine, and quality time together.

So gather your clan, and I'll see you there!

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Why? When your place or mine, isnít the best option.
When: Open every day - except Public Holidays
Phone: 02 6672 3641
Where: 9 Commercial Road, Murwillumbah, NSW
Cost: Depends on what is ordered but prices are extremely reasonable.
Your Comment
Great article, Maureen! Good to see you back ...
by Elaine (score: 3|9396) 1320 days ago
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