Franklin, my dear.

Franklin, my dear.
Franklin, my dear.
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I grew up here – Even lived two blocks away from it for years, but it was Fred who found it. It’s easy to miss. Located in the former home of the diviest dive bar, on the edge of the Museum District, The Franklin Inn isn’t flashy or modern. In fact, it’s more prohibition-era feeling. Which is apt, since it was restored to its original 1930s-style glory 3 years ago. The itty-bitty eatery is outfitted with rich woods, pressed tin ceiling, brass accents and black-and-white tiled floors. And about ten tables.


I ordered the Sailor ‘Reuben’, a defiant assemblage of hot corned beef (usually pastrami), a sliced hotdog (usually knockwurst), melted Swiss and hot mustard on marbled rye bread – and a Richmond original ($10.50). Fred ordered the Franklin Inn Steak Burger, 8oz, hand-pattied, & cooked to order with side of lettuce, tomato, & onion served on a soft, buttery brioche bun ($9.50). He added cheese and sauteed onions for $.95 each. Dad got the special; a salmon and crab cake sandwich with a jalapeño aioli which came with a side salad ($12.95).


My sailor’s corned beef could have used a little more cooking time, as the fat wasn’t completely rendered and it was a little chewy. Otherwise I loved it. Fred’s burger was just what you’re looking for in a burger and cooked to a perfect medium rare as requested. While the brioche was delicious, it made for a bread-heavy sandwich even though the burger was a generous 8 ounces. Dad’s salmon-crabcake sandwich had nice size cakes with generous crab, well seasoned without an over-reliance on Old Bay. The jalapeño aioli added a nice bite to cut through the richness. The chips were big and rustic and crispy, crunchy and awesome.



The Franklin Inn is simple and solid. It’s not a place for trend-obsessed foodies. It’s a casual neighborhood hang that serves good food at a reasonable price.

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