First, let me preface that this post is not about beer, rather, the awesome general store attached to Franklin’s Brewery. It’s located in Hyattsville, MD, minutes away from Washington, DC and luckily, my home. I discovered this little gem almost 6 or 7 years ago at the recommendation of a co-worker who noticed my passion for quirky and unusual things from ThinkGeek or UncommonGoods. All it took was one visit for me to declare my love affair and healthy obsession with Franklin’s.
The one thing to know about Franklin’s General Store is you won’t find the standard name brand toy you would at Toys “R” Us. What you will find are toys resurrected from your own childhood that were once thought to be extinct, as well as a boatload of items you never knew you needed or wanted. I usually enter the store thru the restaurant (because let’s face it, Peety likes to eat) and if you do the same, you’ll be greeted by a tower of candy. They’ve got Mary Jane’s, Bazooka Joe, Dubble Bubble and obviously, much more. Paradise for your sweet tooth.
Behind this candy tower is a wall full of off brand children’s toys – a treasure trove, really. Directly perpendicular to this wall are 4 – 5 aisles of board games, puzzles, candies, wind-up toys and boatload of greeting cards. This is usually the point in my trip when I pick up a few packs of Pop Rocks and debate on whether I need a book of Mad Libs.
After making your way thru the first third of the shop, you’ll stumble onto kitschy kitchenware. If your taste is anything like mine, you will want to own every single item. From silly mugs to comic book inspired potholders, this section is crammed with all kinds of gems. I’ve found it a great place for housewarming and office Christmas gifts.
My kitchen would not be complete without a few bottles of ass kickin’ hot sauce. Oh, Franklin’s wall o’ hot sauces, how I love thee. Scouring the hot sauce shelf for clever names and cool packaging never gets old. Next time I visit Franklin’s, the ominous Ass Reaper hot sauce is mine.
If hot sauce isn’t your thing, don’t worry. Franklin’s has a crazy awesome selection of beer and wine. The great thing about their wine, especially, is the staff ranks each wine based on price, taste and their personal favorites. It helps those people who aren’t wine connoisseurs (like me) pick something tasty every time.
You have now reached the back of the store. It’s full of off-humor books, yummy smelling toiletries and tentacle mustaches. You can always make room for tentacle mustaches in your life.
As you make your past the lovely smells and the blush-worthy reading material, hand-made jewelry and a column of magnets await you. Both have an amazing collection of goodies you can get lost in. I have yet to buy a piece of jewelry from here because I make the mistake of stopping by this section last, after I’ve already got a cart full of hot sauce and pop rocks.
Franklin’s General Store is a great spot for one of a kind finds to give as gifts or buy for yourself as a pick-me-up. One of the coolest things about this place is how often they receive new things to cram every nook and cranny. Every time I visit, I feel like I’m on a new adventure of discovery. It’s rare to find a place full of so much inspiration and happiness no matter when I stop by. I encourage you to check out the store and dare you not to walk away with arms full of “must-have” items.
Address: 5121 Baltimore Avenue, Hyattsville, MD 20781 | franklinsbrewery.com