The Franklin Bar

The Franklin Bar

Cocktail Bar, Speakeasy, and Bar$$$$
Center City West, Philadelphia
137 Tips and reviews
  • cocktails
  • whiskey
  • good for dates
  • cozy
  • trendy
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  • Robert A.
    Robert AmezquitaJune 21, 2015
    The most unique and amazing "punches" you'll ever have to your palate..the bartenders are friendly, the atmosphere is laid back yet sophisticated, well worth any line you may encounter. Drinkeasy.
  • Eater
    EaterMay 28, 2014
    While the feeling is speakeasy-esque, the drinks are all over the map with classics, punches and adventurous selections that include ingredients like Arbequina olive oil-washed mescal and cardamaro. Read more
  • Ryan E.
    Ryan EscobarMay 18, 2015
    I got the punch bowl with 3 other friends and it was a great experience. It is meant to be an intimate experience but there was a pretty rowdy group when I last went. Definitely would go back.
  • Erin G.
    Erin GreenawaldApril 28, 2015
    GET THE BLOOD RED MOON. Or a punch. Or anything--you won't be disappointed. Some of the best cocktails I've had ever. Plus fun staff and atmosphere.
  • Candace S.
    Candace SelphJuly 25, 2014
    Been here 10+ times
    If you are unsure what to order, ask for suggestions. They will ask you a few questions and give you a few options. The staff is well educated on the menus.
    CITY GRITAugust 1, 2014
    At one point, this spot served as the front for the country's largest alcohol ring. Now it's a speakeasy (with limited seating) celebrating cocktails and the golden age of the pre-prohibition era.
  • Clay W.
    Clay WilliamsOctober 3, 2012
    The hidden downstairs cocktail bar thing is a little passe these days, but Philly manages to keep even this unpretentious and fun. Tell them what you like & they'll make something wonderful.
  • Casey C.
    Casey ChesterOctober 21, 2013
    This was worth the wait and probably only sat for about 15-20 minutes outside. The drinks are incredible. We were seated upstairs at first. It was nice, but moved downstairs and like it better.
  • Philadelphia Magazine
    Philadelphia MagazineJanuary 3, 2012
    Drinks like the Cowboy Killer and Oh, Sweet Nothing will change the way you think about cocktails. And the fact that you get to drink them underground and in the dark just makes them double-awesome.
  • HomeSpeakeasy
    HomeSpeakeasyFebruary 3, 2012
    There isn't much to say about the Franklin that hasn't already been said. The drinks are phenomenal, and the menu changes every season, so make sure to stop in regularly to keep up!
  • Timur A.
    Timur AsarJuly 15, 2011
    My favourite bar in Philly, went back twice!! Ask the waiters to make a cocktail that's not on the menu and they come up with some funky mixes. Great place, crazy doorman and good atmosphere
  • Ron D.
    Ron DizonDecember 8, 2013
    They were out of the porter beer on the menu and recommended this Perkulator beer. Loved it! It is a must try if you love dark beer and coffee!
  • Nathan F.
    Nathan FFebruary 16, 2012
    One of the few bars in the Philadelphia area that carries George Dickel. Yes, there are more Tennessee Whiskeys than Jack Daniels! Dickel is the better of the two anyway.
  • Erica J.
    Erica JulinJune 30, 2013
    Very nice place to get specialty drinks. Try the "sorry for partying" punch. Also the "little fury" is very delicious, tastes like an orange creamsicle!
  • Kris H.
    Kris HetzelDecember 6, 2015
    Excellent cocktails, great service, and an awesome selection of poisons; all contained in an atmosphere resembling what the 30s may have been like.
  • Philadelphia Magazine
    Philadelphia MagazineOctober 11, 2010
    Should your mood dictate something classic, there’s the rum daiquiri (served up); if it dictates something smooth, perhaps the Purple Prose (gin, dry vermouth, blueberry syrup, absinthe, orange bitter Read more
  • Long C.
    Long CaoMarch 7, 2016
    Heavy influence from the NYC cocktail bar Death + Co, go on a weekday if you want to enjoy a lowkey night with fantastic cocktails.
  • Raymond K.
    Raymond KingJuly 11, 2011
    Esquires top 10 best bars in America. Friendly crowd, without douchebags, and mixology drinks. Looks like a mortgage company door, but underneath we find a nice little speakeasy
  • Alex H.
    Alex HennesseyJuly 7, 2015
    Superb cocktails. Awesome vibe. They'll make you something great based on your tastes but their specials are worth trying.
  • Spike
    SpikeFebruary 7, 2013
    Between its speak-easy vibe, seasonal menus and creative cocktails, The Franklin is one of the most bustling bars in Philly.
  • Julia R.
    Julia RDecember 9, 2014
    They know exactly what they're doing when it comes to making a stiff drink! Love this place for the ambiance too.
  • Ben H.
    Ben HennesyAugust 23, 2011
    Don't bother with the food but ask for the Billy Penn Club and the (Dead Cowboy?) ... can't remember the name of that last one, BT will be able to tell you, though. Best mixed drinks, bar none.
  • Joe C.
    Joe CFebruary 14, 2015
    Call me a stickler, but I think if you're running a modern speakeasy, its silly to have a line out the front with a bouncer. Inside is cramped and noisy, and not at all the upscale vibe.
  • OkCupid Daters' Choice
    The Franklin Bar was voted the Best Boozy Date Spot by OkCupid users in the first-ever Daters' Choice Awards! Tap Read more for additional date spot categories in Philadelphia. #daterschoice Read more
  • Lindsay
    LindsaySeptember 27, 2013
    Lindsey was great! I had the Sneaky Feelings- really nicely balanced, spicy but not at all overwhelming. Highly recommend.
  • chinsel
    chinselJanuary 5, 2015
    every drink is absolutely scrumptious. sit at the bar to chat with the bartenders to get the inside scoop!
  • Ian L.
    Ian LazzaraAugust 11, 2014
    Get here early to get a seat there's sometimes a wait. Knowledgeable bartenders will make you any type of drink.
  • Ricky S.
    Ricky SherrillJuly 28, 2015
    They make some very good bourbon drinks. I sampled the "Midnight's Child" & recommend you do the same.
  • Moon Reflects S.
    Skybar- outdoor rooftop, great ambience, drinks mixed well, decent DJs
  • Ramya
    RamyaMay 26, 2013
    Been here 5+ times
    Close your eyes and pick any drink, each one is a winner!
  • Philadelphia Magazine
    Philadelphia MagazineDecember 2, 2011
    The Cowboy Killer and Oh, Sweet Nothing are just the kind of unforgettable classy cocktails you want to sip on in this underground getaway. Read more
  • Emilie F.
    Emilie FuttermanApril 17, 2015
    Great for dates! Lovely booths are super comfy, and they don't let it feel crowded.
  • A. Can P.
    A. Can PolatkanSeptember 17, 2016
    really good, cozy bar! 🎉 you don't need something more.. remember to drink enough water 💦 in between cocktails!🍹
  • JP
    JPAugust 29, 2012
    Been here 5+ times
    ask for something off-menu if you're feeling adventurous. if you fear certain flavors, they'll exclude those for you (but it's not quite as fun)!
  • Diana F.
    Diana FuFebruary 4, 2015
    Very cute, great for dates. Gets busy even on weeknights so be prepared for a wait.
  • Philadelphia Magazine
    Philadelphia MagazineNovember 18, 2013
    Rock-solid booze, and an inspirational level of polish and expertise.” Read more
  • James
    JamesAugust 19, 2012
    Friendly service, nicely decorated. Cocktails were a bit overdone. Some cocktails had 10 plus ingredients. (3 of 4 petals via Fondu) Read more
  • Kevin G.
    Kevin GardnerJanuary 26, 2014
    Pricey drinks but the quality is ALWAYS there. The drink list always changes so there is always something new to try
  • Melissa W.
    Melissa WallaceFebruary 28, 2015
    Service is well done. However: Thinking people come to say they have "been" here. Good tables for a date who likes a good drink.
  • Ben W.
    Ben WatkinsOctober 6, 2012
    Cripple creek! Great starter to the night. A little sour, but a nice fruity, hearty cocktail.
  • Kyle F.
    Kyle FlowersFebruary 17
    Authentic SpeakEasy feel, off the beaten path, Great drinks and atmosphere!
  • Jay C.
    Jay CNovember 12, 2016
    The AC Expressway reminds me of a drier Negroni! Magnificent!!!!
  • Matthew P.
    Matthew PalmerAugust 9, 2014
    Start with the classic cocktail (an Old Fashion) then get an unique drink from the menu.
  • Sarah C.
    Sarah ChambersNovember 22, 2010
    Get here early! I love it but it's gotten very difficult to get in (regardless of how often you've been or how close you live).
  • Ricky M.
    Ricky MasonJuly 16, 2011
    Great atmosphere, great drinks. Beware though, USA absinthe is not real absinthe... It's just green licorice tasting liquor.
    USA TODAYDecember 6, 2010
    The name of one of the city's largest bootlegging operations during Prohibition, Franklin Mortgage & Investment looks like a speakeasy. Located near Rittenhouse Square, it's a dark, clubby place. Read more
  • Nathan F.
    Nathan FFebruary 16, 2012
    Tell the bartender a liquor you like (but not vodka, they don't carry it), and ask for a bartender's choice. Odds are you won't be disappointed.
  • Jenna F.
    Jenna Flateman PosnerOctober 18, 2012
    Be patient when visiting FMI, there's usually a wait...and it's well worth it!
  • Anneliese K.
    Anneliese KingFebruary 4, 2015
    Don't belabor too long on the options, they're all good. Camomile infused whiskey 😁
  • Cameron B.
    Cameron BlankDecember 23, 2014
    Everything. The drink menu is top tier with regards to creativity. Don't go here if your favorite liquor is vodka.
  • Charles B.
    Charles BApril 17, 2013
    best cocktails in center city if there isn't too long of a wait to get in.
  • Albert Y.
    Albert YeeAugust 3, 2010
    The Gunslinger is a wonderful, stronger version of my favorite drink, the Old Fashioned. Those glaciers of ice are oh so fun.
  • Taylor V.
    Taylor VANovember 15, 2014
    Try the Perpetual Motion Machine! Not on the menu.
  • Brendan R.
    Brendan RastetterAugust 23, 2014
    The Cowboy Killer is my favorite! Give it a try.
  • Hari P.
    Hari PatelDecember 21, 2014
    Large list of cocktails. Great variety. Speakeasy feel
  • Lynne C.
    Lynne CMarch 28, 2011
    Get the pastrami salted pistachios. Spicy & Salty & delicious! Perfect with your (very strong) drink ;)
  • L M.
    L MDecember 14, 2010
    they do have a snack menu, so have some pistachios and the second labor if you're feeling savory with a hint of sweet
  • Sean B.
    Sean BlandaJanuary 26, 2010
    Been here 5+ times
    If you like Tequila, the "Mexican Firing Squad" here will be the last drink you will ever order. Also, blues radio and 30s vibe make it a good nightcap spot.
  • Rachel O.
    Rachel OrrMarch 9, 2014
    Awesome vibe! On the expensive side but still so worth it.
  • Alyssa G.
    Alyssa GuoMarch 14, 2015
    Great cocktails but lines are insane. Go on a weeknight.
  • Brian A.
    Brian AndersonFebruary 17, 2013
    Great Speak Easy style Cocktail bar - booths are A+ for comfort
  • Danya H.
    Danya HenningerNovember 13, 2009
    The Conquistadora may be the best Tequila drink you've ever tried. Not sweet. Just right. Or try something on the rocks -- rock, that is. One huge ice cube! Read more
  • Scott L.
    Scott LandauFebruary 24, 2013
    One of the coolest places to grab a drink. Top quality
  • Ryan F.
    Ryan FlanneryAugust 26, 2014
    Got a ginger ale 'mocktail' that was fantastic...highly recommend
  • Grace L.
    Grace LeeSeptember 2, 2014
    Fantastic cocktails. The bartenders know what they're doing here.
  • Robin J.
    Robin JAugust 22, 2015
    Speakeasy Drinks, Decor and Atmosphere are all top notch
  • Kimberly C.
    Kimberly ColemanJune 15, 2011
    Try the regime change punch. All at the table envied me for ordering. But try not to have more than two...
  • Michael S.
    Michael S.March 9, 2014
    Great cocktails...everyone needs to come hear at least once
  • Chirag D.
    Chirag DesaiAugust 9, 2013
    If u are into a smokey scotch, get the Hairy Rag.
  • Constance S.
    Constance StangaroneApril 28, 2013
    The bouncer is awesome and the wait staff is incredibly knowledgable.
  • DK D.
    DK DavisMarch 28, 2012
    Been here 5+ times
    Try the Demon Tied To My Chair In My Brain - Perfect starter cocktail!
  • Nathan W.
    Nathan WMarch 3, 2015
    Been here 5+ times
    Fantastic rum cocktails, and gotta love the inventive names.
  • Jason P.
    Jason ProsekDecember 7, 2011
    Single handedly turned this craft beer drinker into a cocktail enthusiast.
  • Albert G.
    Albert GuilarteOctober 29, 2011
    Best cocktails in Philly. Staff is great as well.
  • Najah
    NajahJuly 8, 2016
    Adorable! And the live music is nice
  • Philadelphia Magazine
    Philadelphia MagazineJanuary 13, 2013
    "Great cocktail lists and even better cocktail names."
  • Valerie B.
    Valerie BlasseyNovember 6, 2010
    Try the Blues Explosion. Very complex flavors. Every drink is excellent here.
  • Christina C.
    Christina CosterMarch 24, 2013
    Really wanted to like this place. Bouncer is a doll but it's overhyped. It's prohibition at 50%. Music and decor don't fit and wine ($11/glass) tastes like franzia. Hate to say it but don't bother.
  • Kara L.
    Kara LaFleurMarch 21, 2010
    The Mojito isn't on the menu, but it's served on a mound of crushed ice - adult snowcone stylie ;) de-lish!
  • Follow F.
    Follow FoodieAugust 2, 2015
    This is how an old fashioned should be made...every time, every where.
  • Richard F.
    Richard FisherAugust 8, 2013
    Possibly the best old fashioned I've ever had.
  • Ronald B.
    Very nice punches. Try the "sorry for partying" punch
  • Esquire
    EsquireMay 24, 2011
    Congratulations, you've found one of Esquire's Best Bars in America. Now order a Jersey Lightning. Read more
  • koco
    kocoJuly 8, 2009
    there's a super old school vibe to this place, wear suspenders or like a flapper dress, order cocktails, pretend you had to get in with a special knock and a password
  • Christy L.
    Christy LandesMay 15, 2016
    Wow! Creative cocktails and wonderful service.
  • Brennan K.
    Brennan KnottsJuly 24, 2010
    Staff is so good. Ask for a bartender's choice. Let yourself be surprised.
  • Steve M.
    Steve McQuaidOctober 24, 2010
    Try the Restraining Order. Best tequila drink and maybe the best cocktail I've ever had.
  • Patrick W.
    Patrick WardAugust 3, 2015
    Great cocktails. Can be slow
  • Andrew N.
    Andrew NuscaAugust 6, 2011
    Been here 5+ times
    head straight to the bar and tell the bartender to 'surprise you.' you won't be disappointed.
  • Andre W.
    Andre WilliamsJune 24, 2016
    Fabulous cocktails
  • Vivek S.
    Vivek SurtiDecember 16, 2010
    Great speakeasy! Bartenders offer great suggestions.
    DrinkPhilly.comAugust 25, 2010
    Been here 5+ times
    Come here for magical nights and mixological delights. read our full review by tapping More Info! Read more
  • Milo !.
    Milo !December 26, 2009
    Order the penicillin. It isn't on the menu, but it may just be the best cocktail they make.
  • Victor E.
    Victor EOctober 2, 2016
    👍 for downstairs, turned around in the door upstairs...
  • Jeff C.
    Jeff CramJuly 23, 2013
    Get the Italian Market and don't look back.
  • James M.
    James McClainAugust 4, 2013
    Great spot for some very interesting drinks
  • blake G.
    blake GRANTAugust 23, 2011
    These guys can really serve up an amazing drink
  • Grace S.
    Grace S.January 18, 2013
    Love the Knuckle duster punch and upper east side!
  • Damien B.
    Damien Basile 😈March 24, 2013
    Go elsewhere. The "liquor" is subpar. My absinthe was bad & my girl's white wine was whack. I had to fight to get them to serve me absinthe alone! If you want cRaZy mixed drinks then, I guess.
    CITY GRITAugust 1, 2014
    We recommend the Regime Change Punch and the Little Love Caster.
  • Lindsey K.
    Lindsey KaneApril 16, 2014
    Tequila cocktails are amazing!
  • Stacie
    StacieJune 17, 2016
    They make a great Aviation!
  • Jaemie D.
    Jaemie DrakeNovember 14, 2010
    If you like manhattans, try t the red hook, a twist to the traditional
  • Rosalind S.
    Rosalind SJune 3, 2013
    Mercy of Circumstance is delicious!
  • JD
    JDOctober 8, 2010
    Like cucumber infused drinks? Ask for the Kentucky Maid.
  • Liz B.
    Liz BAugust 10, 2014
    Great drinking establishment.
  • Stephanie F.
    Stephanie FreedDecember 31, 2010
    South side fizz-- a refreshing gin/lemon juice/minty concoction! Delicioso!!
  • Irene R.
    Irene ReebMay 23, 2010
    Been here 5+ times
    Try the Billy Penn- off the menu but still awesome.
  • Kris R.
    Kris RyanMarch 5, 2014
    Impeccable cocktails!
  • Ben K.
    Ben Kessler (@kessler)January 17, 2010
    Like scotch? The Cowboy Killer is a smoky, inviting drink.
  • Chefs Feed
    Chefs FeedAugust 5, 2014
    Jason Cichonski, chef of Ela, eats here on his nights off. He loves the Samhain. Read more
  • Philadelphia Magazine
    Philadelphia MagazineDecember 5, 2011
    Save yourself the embarrassment, don’t ask for vodka, the Franklin doesn’t carry it.
  • DK D.
    DK DavisMay 17, 2012
    Been here 5+ times
    Try the Old Fashioned
  • abby
    abbyFebruary 5, 2013
    ask the waiter to surprise you
  • Peter W.
    Peter WuJanuary 4, 2015
    Try the punches!
  • Taylor C.
    Taylor CohenAugust 10, 2014
    Trust the bartenders 👌
  • Mwazhuwa K.
    Mwazhuwa KuretuOctober 17, 2012
    Been here 100+ times
    Beer and a Shot.
  • Betty C.
    Betty CianfichiDecember 31, 2012
    Can't believe it's closed on New Years Eve day
  • Stanley "Trae" C.
  • Francis D.
    Francis DolanFebruary 11, 2011
    Gin and mescal together? Who knew it was so awesome.
  • Jayme R.
    Jayme RomeroMay 22, 2012
    Cool atmosphere but a bit pricey.
  • Chris G.
    Chris GoldingDecember 31, 2011
    Excellent drinks, but very slow service.
  • Kathryn🐻 D.
    Kathryn🐻 DeSimoneFebruary 22, 2013
    Brandy it!
  • Robert S.
    Robert StreetJuly 13, 2011
    Well deserved punch is fab.. try and like
  • Amy M.
    Amy MacMillanJune 18, 2011
    This is a magical place!
  • JJ Y.
    JJ YeoJune 7, 2013
    the spaceship coupe
  • Corey P.
    Corey PayraudeauOctober 3, 2010
    So unique, this is a must visit!
  • Karly B.
    Karly BachichSeptember 24, 2011
    Feels like prohibition on here.
  • Lindy
    LindyApril 22, 2011
    Dolores Haze. Enough said.
  • Michael J.
    Michael J.May 17, 2012
    Been here 100+ times
    Free whiskey shot at midnight!
  • Devin S.
    Devin SidellAugust 23, 2014
    Mexican firing squad
  • Jen14221
    Jen14221October 5, 2010
    A. MAY. ZING.
  • Dennis B.
    Dennis BJuly 17, 2010
    The Kensington. That is all.
  • Jameson D.
    Jameson DetweilerJuly 19, 2009
    Get the best Gin Martini you've ever had.
  • Al S.
    Al SotackMarch 4, 2010
    Been here 25+ times
    New Spring Menu drops Monday!
  • Ryan K.
    Ryan KennyApril 25, 2016
    Not worth the money imo
  • Istria L.
    Istria L.August 31, 2015
    Bad service, bad attitude
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