Franklins is located by the intersection of Baltimore Ave. and East-West Highway. Photos by Dylan Moroses.
Franklin’s Restaurant, Brewery & General Store, located 10 minutes from campus, on Baltimore Avenue in Hyattsville, is a fun, family-oriented combination of businesses that provides a casual atmosphere for patrons and an outlet to display local artists’ work.
Mike Franklin, the owner, expanded the business 10 years ago when it was a deli and general store. Franklin’s General Store has been open for 20 years, while the restaurant and brewery have been open for 10 years. The restaurant offers pizzas and popular bar food, most notably different types of burgers.
“Well, I was too stupid to realize how risky it really was,” Franklin said. “The deli and general store weren’t making enough money to feed my family. So it was either sell or expand. We were eventually fortunate enough to borrow the money to get on the next level.”
Because of the three-in-one appeal, Franklin’s is able to attract more than people just looking for a place to eat.
“It depends on who you are and how Franklin’s appeals to you,” Franklin said.
On an average weekday, the restaurant serves about 500 people. Most waiters and waitresses average about $100 in tips on a weekday and can make up to $200 in tips on weekends, according to Meghan Kramer, a waitress who has worked at the restaurant for almost eight years.
“It’s great, I love it here,” she said. “We have a lot of fun and we’re all friends. We’re like a little dysfunctional family.”
Franklin’s is set apart from new restaurants in Hyattsville with its use of local ingredients for its food. Franklin said their use of local supplies and selling local merchandise, like handmade jewelry has helped to appeal to people in the area that enjoy home-grown ingredients and goods.
The Hyattsville Art Community hangs up displays from local artists around the restaurant that patrons can purchase. Franklin said about one or two pieces will sell from every show; there are about six showings per year.
“The general store has a great selection of liquor and vegetarian goodies,” said Anuraag Sharma, a sophomore at the University of Maryland.
The general store, the oldest part of the three-headed business, is full of knick-knacks just waiting to be bought. There is also a large variety of beer and wine available for sale, and wine tastings every Thursday from 4 p.m. until closing.
“The general store is awesome,” she said. “It has a ton of stuff you just want because it’d be cool to have, kind of like that meme, ‘I want this because of reasons,’” Sharma said.
Franklin’s is planning to expand its general store early next year. One of the ideas is to create an area for locals to sell their art in addition to displayed art.