The Franklin’s Upstairs Bar Goes Tiki Starting Friday
If I were to look back at all the posts Foobooz has done over the past five years or so, I’ll bet that more than a quarter of them were inspired by conversations that began, “You know what Philly needs more of right now…?”
You know what Philly needs more of? Ramen shops. You know what we need? More dumplings. Less crudo. Better pizza. More gin.
Over and over, Art and I or Alex and I or me and whoever happened to be walking by in the hall would get into these arguments about what this city really needed next. And more often than not, we weren’t the only ones thinking these things. Because Philly got ramen. We got gin. And starting this Friday, May 26, guess what else we’re getting just in time for summer.
A new tiki bar.
Okay, so technically it’s an old bar that’s just getting a tiki makeover, but still. Starting on Friday, the Upstairs Bar at The Franklin is becoming a little island enclave with all the bamboo, palm fronds, surf rock and rum drinks such a thing requires. I talked to manager Jason Elliot, and he gave me the run-down–plus a look at the new space and a few of the house cocktails.
What was once a fairly traditional bar has now become what you see here–heavy on the fronds, masks and twinkle lights. Elliot tells me that the cocktail menu will be “a mix of classics and house-made specialties,” made using fresh-squeezed juices, elaborate garnishes, dry ice…you know, like you do. Which means everything from a “Missionary’s Downfall” a la Don The Beachcomber, circa 1940, or a classic Fogcutter in the style of Trader Vic’s (meaning white rum, brandy, gin, orgeat syrup, lemon and orange juice and a splash of sherry) to an “Oxy-colada” trademarked “The Upstairs Bar, 2017” and made with overproof Plantation rum, creme de cacao, coconut, pineapple and orange juice.
Here’s what it looks like on the bar:
And here are a couple others, too:
The other cocktails follow that same design aesthetic. And the Upstairs Bar is even doing some of those large-format drinks that we all remember (or, you know, don’t) from the days of our mis-spent youth. There will be three multi-user drinks on the opening menu, each essentially offering a bucket full of hard liquor and fruit juice and between two and eight straws.
You can check out the menu below. The Upstairs Bar will be going full tiki starting this Friday.