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Fran Scibelli Creates Sweet New Restaurant

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – For more than a year, businesses have had to pivot to stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic.

One Charlotte business owner says the pandemic helped her make a complete change of her famous restaurant. For 12 years, Fran’s Filling Station sat in a Dilworth shopping center, a staple for the neighborhood. Owner Fran Scibelli says she always had sweet dreams when it came to expanding the business.

“Probably four years ago, I talked to my landlord about having a donut shop. Well, it was going to be more than a donut shop, but I was going to take a space across the parking lot,” she says. “Before that had been under construction, I was talking to them about opening a place that was going to be breakfast, brunch, donuts.”

Scibelli says that dream was put on hold as she focused on Fran’s Filling Station. When the pandemic hit, her sales took a hit, and that was the wake up call she needed.

“I would say my sales were probably 20{431c92db2ef93c421a350be785d244bd702e2c73a34f2b6f60cd8fd62b61507d} of normal. I mean it was pretty bad,” says Scibelli. “So, I had been peculating on the idea of adding donuts and making things a little easier for me over the years, and maybe not making quite so many things.”

She shut down the restaurant at the start of 2021, and is now re-open as Fat Cat Burgers and Bakeshop. She’s added donuts, coffee, and a new menu for the new brand.

“We already sold a lot of fried chicken sandwiches and burgers, and salads,” Scibelli says. “So I thought burgers, fried chicken sandwiches, and donuts sounds like a plan to me.”

The restaurant is open seven days a week. The donut window is open from 8 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. and re-opens at 3 p.m. Dinner service starts at 5 p.m.