I hadn't noticed Frankies on the sidewalk, but now that you mention it I do recall some construction work taking place around there a few weeks ago.
We'll see if another restaurant goes into Sams Deli space ... based on what I've read, that location has one of the highest rents in town, hard to make a go with food and beverage?
Same goes for Customs House, which I imagine will have rents just as high (or higher) than the old Sams.
The above two "high rent" scenarios might actually be a good thing, as it portends discouraging "tourist" and "fast food" style restaurants in favour of high-end affairs that will be patronized by locals year-round.
I don't think anything Earls sells is fresh, it's all cooked and packaged in Vancouver. It's really just a fast food joint masquerading as a sit-down restaurant (as they all are, Vancouver Earls included). Only IMO of course, and I have eaten there a few times, as I'm not beyond the Montanas, Milestones, Earls eating experience if I'm in any sort of a hurry to get somewhere after eating.
Look ... I get that there are some sit-down eating spaces on Government Street. They've been there for close to two decades or more in some cases. I get that it would be cool if Government Street had true Eurpean style dining/drinking/coffee type spaces from one end to the other ... hopefully with no fences around the tables and chairs (not sure if fences are a Provincial liquor license "thing", or a COV by-law "thing").
But it's always a weather story in Victoria, no matter how hard you want to believe Government Street is a bustling, busy, pedestrian packed thoroughfare all year 'round. It's simply not that way at all but for a few months in the summertime, and a couple of weeks around Christmas.
Anyway, the above is all just my personal opinion, no need to bust a hump trying to prove me wrong ... I'll believe it when I see it, and you can remind me how wrong I was