DCFoodies.com Franklin's: Stellar beer bar, great brewpub, completely unlikely success - DCFoodies.com

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Sep 10, 2009


Nick Dunten

Before Franklin's started its pub operation, it served the best sandwiches in Hyattsville and started a Route 1 revitalization that continues. They have worked hard to be part of the city and its needs as a major part of their business plan. If they had wanted to open the pub first, the city's residents wouldn't have allowed it.

That's the kind of family oriented community it is. We like being a "small neighborhood and a few gas stations, but not a whole lot else." We like the peace and quiet.


This post is more than a little harsh on Hyattsville. If you want to be able to walk to tons of restaurants and bars, move to DC, Rockville, or any of the other cookie-cutter suburban areas in the metro area with a ton of strip malls. Hyattsville has character and a few gems other than Franklins.


Nick and M, thanks for your comments. Hyattsville is a lovely little community. And certainly Mike has benefitted from the support he's received from his friends and neighbors.


Hyattsville, I mean you no harm. Judgeing from the emails I'm getting from current and former Hyattsville residents, I've clearly touched a nerve. These people are understandably proud of their community and quick to defend it (very quick). Because it's a relatively small, quite town, it flies under the radar. But it's size is also behind the point I make in the profile: restaurants are hard businesses to run; they're even harder in small communities. But Franklin's works, and it does so thanks to the support it receives from the Hyattsville community.

Shani Warner

I thoroughly enjoyed the review, even as a non beer drinker. I'm not surprised that you're getting an earful from Hyattsvillains, though. It's a (largely) undiscovered gem inside the Beltway: affordable, diverse, community and family-oriented, tree-filled... Not to mention, filled with more than its fair share of foodies!

Judy Upshaw

I moved to Hyattsville in '88 and remember going to the Hyattsville Hardware store to get supplies. I loved the 3-tiered circular ben that helded the penny nails. Now that ben holds penny candy. I can't tell you in the space provided how much I enjoy Franklins. Mike and his team have displayed incredible vision. I, for one, am glad that their vision has paid off.


I'm surprised you rate the beer so highly. I find that there's a "house flavor" that permeates all the brews and keeps them from standing apart. As if the lines or tanks aren't quite purged from the previous batch.

Don't get me wrong -- I live in Hyattsville and I LOVE Franklin's -- I shop there way too often (craft beer, wines, and hot sauce too!), and I eat there regularly.

I really, really want to love their beer. But something's always slightly amiss. It's still good with a meal, but I seldom go for a second pint.

Conchas Chica

It is safe to say that no one need worry about a run on the Hyattsville housing market just because of this post. It will take a lot more than a decent brewpub to draw people who don't have to live there. So thanks for pointing Franklin's out, in case we're ever passing through or stuck there. LOL.

Alan Mattlage


You definitely got Hyattsville wrong. I moved here about four years ago after looking at houses from Cheverly to Glenn Dale to Beltsville to Silver Spring and everywhere in between. Hyattsville came out way ahead, and since moving here, I've discovered that it's the people who live here that make it so great. I've never lived in such a friendly and unpretentious community as Hyattsville.

Chris Suspect

I live in Hyattsville and Drew Long is generally accurate about virtually nothing being within walking distance from Franklins.

In fact, for anyone that doesn't live here his review is more than fair.

There needs to be a lot more Route 1 growth before reviewers take notice of our other hole in the walls or artsy start-ups. What are bloggers supposed to do? Crash on our couches so they can do an "immersion" review.

Honestly, Hyattsville has a long way to go for an active nightlife, but the spirit is here.


I've never eaten there nor had the beer, but believe it or not, Franklin's General Store is *the* official tchotchke supplier for my workplace. We send people there all the time to buy rubber chickens, silly wands, mini-bubbles, and other regression-rific toys to give out as prizes. The store alone is worth the trek.


I heartily agree with this reviewer! I was a fan of Mike's store back when it was a deli with a good beer selection, and was thrilled when I found out he was expanding.

I have never had a bad experience at the pub, and regularly go there with my wife and 11 year-old daughter (it's her favorite restaurant currently). While my wife is more of a wine drinker, they have a good enough selection of wines to make her happy. My beer tastes change with the seasons, and Charles does not disappoint. If you're a hop head, he's your guy! The food is also high-caliber, and Mike makes it a point to use locally grown produce when possible. My only gripe: consider offering more than one style of mussels!

Yes, the toy store is a major plus for those of us with elementary-age kids, and the toys extend to the grown-ups too. (Beatles lunchbox, anyone?) The beer & wine selections are excellent, making Franklin's one of my "go-to" beer & wine stores.


I enjoy Franklin's and have for several years. I am also mystified by the response from Hyattsvillers proclaiming the town's wonder but failing to elaborate on the specifics. Hyattsville has been my mailing address since 1955 and I am still looking for the wonderment of it all. Please, open my eyes! Franklin's is the only reason I have for being on Baltimore Avenue.

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