A new establishment, Franklin’s Bottle Shop, opened on July 30 in Salem.  Unlike any restaurant or bar in town, it is open 7-days a week until 2:30 a.m. and sells a wide selection of bottled beers, wines, ciders and champagne (anything that isn’t hard liquor,) for patrons to take home or drink there (or, both.)

The new business is a concept of proprietor Nick Lopez.  Former marketing director for Gilgamesh and bar manager/beer buyer for Venti’s, Lopez can be believed when he says, “I spend a lot of time separating good beers from bad.  We have a very strong relationship with brewers and distributors.”

Lopez takes pride in Franklin’s having, “the best beer selection for a craft beer enthusiast in Salem.  We won’t stock every flavor; no Four Loko or [other, cheaper beers.]  We’re going to focus on quality, not try to see how many beers I can get.  It also won’t be just local beers – but quality beers from wherever we can find them.”

Franklin’s has a unique profile.  Because it is 21-and-over all the time, it is not required to sell food.  But Lopez encourages people to eat.  “People are welcome to bring food from any downtown restaurant, and eat it here.  We know a lot of owners and know what they’re going through.  We support local restaurants and encourage our customers to do so, too.”  He mentions Falafel King, La Capital, Straight from New York Pizza, Church Street Pizza and Fuji Rice Time, among others.

One thing that’s not welcome is fast food.  “If you bring Burger King or McDonald’s, you can eat it outside.  No fast food,” Lopez warns.

Franklin’s sets a high standard for its music.  They don’t allow iTunes or juke box.  “We play vinyl records,” Lopez says.  “In fact I’m going over in a few minutes to get a new shipment at Ranch Records.  Anyone who comes in is welcome to bring their own favorite vinyl and play their records here.”

He’s all for customer interaction and promises to listen to his patrons.  “We don’t want people to just be reactive; to just come in and just look at what’s on our list and feel they have to pick from there.  We want them to know what’s on the horizon themselves, and request those and we’ll get that.  We want them to keep us on our toes.”

Franklin’s already boasts an intriguing selection, art on the wall, bottles, beer taps and keeps a sharp eye on expansion.  It expects to stock 8-15 taps soon and a whole wall will become a reach-in cooler soon.
For Salem residents who want a different experience, and a cool place to go in the wee hours – Franklin’s offers a refreshing new option.

Franklin’s is located at 241 Liberty Street, downtown Salem.