Franklin’s is a unique and hip find juuuuust over the District border in Hyattsville, Maryland. The self-proclaimed restaurant, brewery, and general store is a whimsical place, and well-worth a visit for any lover of homebrews or family joints! In fact, Franklin’s was named one of the 75 Best Bars by Washingtonian in 2009 (for anyone who needed the extra credentials).
First to visit while you are waiting for your table is the general store, a healthy mix of children’s toys, national microbrews, random trinkets, and wine. The room is chock full of awesome games and kits for kids (I was particularly intrigued by the ant farm), as well as racks of candy, stuffed animals, jewelry, and beer and wine. What more could one want out of a local “general store?”
Once you get your table in the large, high-ceiled restaurant you are introduced to the beer list, featuring between eight and ten house-brewed beers including an incredibly strong Belgian ale, the “Van Damme” (watch out, 10.2% ABV!). A sampling of all beers is a mere $8.50. Franklin’s also has an eclectic menu, proving that American bar food can indeed be delicious and vegetarian-friendly, such as a great veggie taco salad. Waitstaff are friendly and contribute greatly to the warm, neighborhoody feel of the place.
The restaurant at Franklin’s has been around for the past eight or so years, but the general store was started by Mr. Franklin in 1992. It is one of the staples of the expanding downtown Hyattsville corridor located between far-east DC and College Park. Read this DC Foodies blog post for a look at how it really was the little brewery that could.
To visit: 5121 Baltimore Avenue, Hyattsville, MD, (301) 927-2740. A 20-minute drive from downtown DC, and requires a car or proficient understanding of the bus system—Metrobus # 81 and 83 will take you right there from the Rhode Island Avenue Metro.