More than 20 years ago, one of Boston’s most beloved bartenders teamed up with her longtime friend – a local, classically-trained chef – to open a neighborhood bar that served incredible, award-winning food alongside innovative wines, local microbrews, and craft cocktails (before they were known as such). The idea was groundbreaking at the time (believe it or not) and would go on to become The Franklin Café, an intimate restaurant & bar in the South End from Maureen McLaughlin (the bartender) and David DuBois (the chef).
When The Franklin first opened on a cold day in December 1996, people immediately took notice. The bar and dining room hummed with Maureen’s hospitality, while guests could watch DuBois turn out some of Boston’s best modern American cuisine from a tiny kitchen off the dining room. This palpable enthusiasm rippled throughout the city, as our South End neighbors embraced the eclectic bar scene. The Franklin became a destination for diners from all over the city, country, and the world looking for a seasonally-inspired menu using the freshest, local ingredients at a reasonable price.
With a full menu served seven days a week until 1:30 a.m., The Franklin is the late-night destination for staff from restaurants all across the city. Twenty years later and this is still the case; we are proud The Franklin is one of Boston’s most beloved industry bars.
The Franklin has been recognized by The New York Times, Gourmet magazine, the London Sunday Telegraph, and more as one of the best restaurants in Boston. We have also been named "Best of Boston" by Boston magazine more than a dozen times.
In 2000, the Franklin Restaurant Group (FRG) expanded to the North Shore with the opening of Franklin Cape Ann in Gloucester, which is now under the artful eye of Maria Seniti, a Gloucester native who joined FRG at the age of 19. Partners Dave DuBois and Maureen McLaughlin brought on partner and CFO Phil Audino to grow the respected regional restaurant group's portfolio. The Franklin Restaurant Group now includes Citizen Public House & Oyster Bar (opened 2010 in the Fenway), Tasty Burger (five locations in Boston), and Our Fathers, a modern Jewish deli in Allston.