Francar’s Buffalo Wings have been nothing short of a Macon staple over their last 20 years. The entire month of March, Francar’s commemorates its 20 year anniversary of serving the diners of Macon. A Central High School and then Mercer University grad, Carl Fambro spent 14 years in the armed service and took his separation pay to help realize his dream: create his own business. “I knew I wanted to create my own destiny”, recounts Mr. Fambro. His original goal was to remain close to his collegiate alma mater but the desired space neighboring Mercer University was too run down and a location on Log Cabin Drive was increasing in interest.
While his original dream was to own and manage three restaurants, Fambro found that perfecting one was his gift. Francar’s sold countless wings at the Log Cabin location for 12 years when an opportunity emerged to move closer to Mercer, with Pi Kappa Phi fraternity doing much of the coaxing. Ultimately, a second location to later be considered in the Mercer Village was opened. The two restaurants existed simultaneously for a few months until Fambro decided the Mercer location was where they were meant to be. Many even refer to him now as the “Mayor of Mercer Village”! This story, however does not remain within the walls that contain the restaurant, but rather, in the incredible people who built the business.
Carl Fambro met his wife whom most Mercerians affectionately refer to as “Mrs. Sharon” after she graduated Georgia State University. Though living in Atlanta, she took a visit back to her hometown of Macon and stopped by Francar’s to pick up a meal. After stopping in several times to dine, she came in for what appeared to be a routine pick up and was then put to work to make a delivery for the swamped Carl Fambro. Several dates and months later, they were married and continued to build the, then, wing joint.
Their love for Mercer and all of their Macon customers is deeply seeded and apparent from the student-inspired wing sauces on the menu to Mrs. Sharon teaching us manners when we step out of line. Not only is the restaurant responsive to student requests and ideas, but actively work to better the relationship with Mercer students and the Macon community. Carl Fambro can often be found talking with the students of Ingram Pye Elementary in addition to recruiting other professionals such as doctors, attorneys, Mercer students, and local business owners to do the same.
Much has changed over 20 years. Never did Fambro idealize a restaurant beyond wings but now he is hoping to make the demand of featuring is Mardi Gras-made-famous Gumbo permanently on the menu. Francar’s can also be found as concessions during basketball games in addition to catering countless events per week. The location and menu has changed along with many of its customers but, much has not. The strong and responsive relationships with the students in addition to much of the greater Macon area have proven Francar’s Buffalo Wings to be a Macon landmark.
How might Francar’s be celebrating their 20 year anniversary? T-shirts can be bought for just $10 commemorating the milestone as well as a celebration this coming Saturday with free cake and cookies to its customers.