The Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co. Is Not Kidding Around


Yes, of course we heard the douchedrums beating for The Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co., the speakeasy/artinisal cocktail joint we told you about set to soft-open tonight in the old Bar Noir space. How could we not? After all, these are Kade-ian times we’re living in, and somewhere along the line, Rittenhouse Square became the epicenter of all things douche, spray-tanned and banal. But we have this to report: We slid into The Franklin last night for the friends and family preview, and here’s the thing — The Douche Class is going to have a hell of a time claiming the place, and if they do, well, shame on all of us for not sticking our flag into this sacred ground straight away. Because The Franklin isn’t just another bar, pumping out Kanye remixes for girls whose major cultural touchstone is The Hills and boys who still haven’t gotten the memo regarding untucked striped-button downs and lame Ed Hardy gear. No, by this definition, The Franklin is not a bar at all: The Franklin is a restaurant where they only serve booze. And there’s nothing else quite like it in the city.

After the jump, we gush, and then show you, in full, The Franklin’s six-page cocktail list.

For one, there is that cocktail list. It’s six pages long. It’s epic. And there’s not a single simple-syrup cosmo-tini soul destroyer in the bunch. In fact, The Franklin doesn’t even serve vodka. Not a drop in the whole place. How’s that for Douche Prevention? You are in the provinces of Whiskey and Gin here (along with plenty of other non-vodka spirits), and their rule is firm yet enlightened. We tried the Billy Penn Club (an almost margarita-tasting gin/egg white concoction), the Brown Derby (a bourbon/grapefruit/honey headbanger) and our favorite, the Simó Cup (a gin/Pimm’s/lemon/cucumber salvation). Which is a great start. There’s only five pages of drinks left to try.

For another, The Franklin has employed your favorite knows-his-shit-and-not-playing bartender. Collin from Zahav? He’s there. Nick from Apothecary? He’s there, too. And these guys, and the rest of the staff, are dressed to the nines and here to get you ripped in the most dignified, civilized way possible. There’s precious little bar seating, way at the back, so you’re just gonna have to tell them what you want and have a seat on this soft leather banquette. See? It really is a restaurant!

Which brings us to the look and ambiance of the place: There’s no sign out front. The windows are blacked out. From the outside, it looks like a perfect place to dispose of a dead hooker. Walk through the door, though, and it’s like you’re in the brain of Gore Vidal. The light is soft, yet harsh. Hardwood ceilings and pert little light fixtures give the impression that you could be, in so many ways, at sea. A sound system gently pumps Art Blakey, Os Mutantes and Crystal Stilts (we swear we heard Crystal Stilts) in your general direction. Oh, and did we mention there’s no vodka? C’mon, douchebags. Just try and claim this place. You wouldn’t know what to do with it if you did.


The Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co., 112 S 18th Street. (215) 569-1160

  • Greta

    Love the Franklin! Low profile place for swanky peeps. Billy Penn Club was my fav too.

  • Philly Chit Chat

    CLASSIC: “After all, these are Kade-ian times we’re living in, and somewhere along the line…”

  • tubo4872

    Sounds fantastic, but it looks like the Douche class are the only one who’ll be able to afford it…

  • SPJ

    Agreed with your entry – happy to see you guys liked it as well. I was able to sneak in for a couple of drinks last night as well and was really pleased. I tried the Diamondback and Sazreac – they were both very unique and delicious. Just a word of warning, two of those Diamondback’s and you’ll be singing quickly. The space was a little crowded last night but still notable (loved the marble bar). I can’t wait to get back on a normal night and procreate a nice buzz when things are a little quieter and you can speake booze with the bartenders a bit more. I hear you on the d-bag factor. I am hopeful that this place shoots to a level of drink ascendancy that simply eclipses and elevates itself above normal d-bag tastes…call it wishful thinking but we’ll see…

  • Mayor of the Square

    Happy to report! Douche free! I heard he’s banned for life from the place!

  • Sarah

    Y’all know that there are perfectly wonderful, non-douche people who are financially comfortable, right?

  • tim

    The quotes on the menu are a nice touch. Good old Michaleen. “Me mouth is like a dry crust and the sun is that hot on me pate…”

  • Marty B.

    @sarah, I hope they realize that, because places like this and APO don’t survive without them.

    Anyone know if this place opens during the week in the late afternoon or is it an after 5 thing 7 days?

  • Felicia

    YES! Collin! I was so gutted when he left Zahav without a forwarding address.

  • NoNo

    I’m picking up what this menu is putting down. I’ll have to stop in…but my douchedar will definitely be on.

  • Rummy

    Violet Hour in Chicago has a better drink menu, but if this place does it well, I’ll support it. And VH was $10 a pop which was very very very good price for their craft. That said, this menu has to be a bit bigger, and I don’t understand how on earth it will survive without food, even 8 – 10 snacks.

  • bleat_on

    So if the guy is wearing a jacket over his untucked button-down, he’s not a douche? Give me a break. A Rittenhouse “speak eaasy” that serves little more than gimmicky, over-priced drinks. If that’s not a recipe for douchebaggery, I don’t know what is.

  • Fandam

    Went there last night. Crowded and maybe 20-35% douchey (charitably). When I return, it’ll be on a weeknight.

  • Farahmand

    This place is so cool!…daring concept to be different. I think they made it work.

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