In 1995, Dave Du Bois was approached by Maureen McLaughlin, one of Boston’s most beloved bartenders, with the idea of opening a South End neighborhood restaurant/bar that would reflect Boston’s growing cosmopolitan sense of self. After months of development and build-out, the pair opened the Franklin Café in December of 1996.
Du Bois’s creative and intelligent way with New American cuisine drew diners from all over the city, and the restaurant’s unique ability to combine his menu with a lively, eclectic bar scene made it an instant neighborhood favorite. Plus, the Franklin offers its full menu daily until 1:30am, making it the late-night place to unwind for the staffs of many of Boston’s best restaurants.
Du Bois began his culinary career at a very early age in Boston area restaurants before venturing off to hone his skills in Palm Beach, Santa Barbara and New York. He expanded his horizons working at Savoire Faire in Edgartown on Martha’s Vineyard, as well as through world travels that took him to Italy, France, Holland and England. When he finally returned to the Hub, it was to plant roots.
Four years after opening Franklin Café, the pair branched out to open The Franklin Cape Ann in Gloucester, which was honored with a Best of Boston award for “Best New Restaurant North” in 2001 and 2008.
The next opening for Chef Du Bois was Franklin Southie, an end to the need for a late night dining option for the many residents of South Boston. Franklin Southie is a sleek, modern restaurant, reflecting the area’s forward-thinking design aesthetic, while still maintaining the warmth and comfort of a neighborhood place.
In 2010 Chef Du Bois launched two new concepts, across the street from each other, behind historic Fenway Park. The Citizen Public House & Oyster Bar, which elevates the American tavern concept, and Tasty Burger – a chef’s interpretation of fast food.
After all these years, the Franklin Restaurant Group’s establishments have become synonymous with consistency, quality, value, and a great time. Du Bois’s cooking has won popular and critical praise, but the biggest testimony to the Franklin’s success is seen in the droves of patrons who jam the intimate establishment nightly for his roasted turkey meatloaf, garlic grilled calamari, and other menu favorites.