Franklin Giant Grinders Inc., a local family run business in the South End of Hartford, Connecticut has been an iconic place to grub out with family and friends while enjoying a piece of this city’s food history. Since the 1960s, residents from neighboring towns come have been going there to indulge in its delicious over-sized grinders and pizzas. Located right on Franklin Ave, a constantly active street full of people from all different backgrounds, this eatery is a great hub for both commercially healthy and socially strong interactions.
Typically I visit Franklin Grinders on a Sunday afternoon where I purchase my classic order of a half chicken cutlet grinder (don’t be fooled by the label “half”). One thing that will never let you down about Franklin’s Grinders is its portions; a half grinder is about the size of a young child’s forearm and I assure you that it will be sufficient if you are coming back from work and hungry. Its working hours for the week are Tuesday – Thursday 8 a.m. – 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday 8 a.m. – 8:45 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. – 5:45 p.m., while staying closed on Mondays. Within the shop it almost seems like you have walked back in time; walls are covered with old faces from past historical events, local sports teams pictures, all the way down to old school looking dinning tables. The one thing that stands out the most is the fact you get to experience a first hand interaction with the owner as he both cooks and rings up your total some days of the week. There is nothing more respectable and cordial than being welcomed by the owner of the company you are visiting with a smile on his face and grin on yours as a massive grinder is being handed over, ready to be devoured.
In Global Cities, Local Streets, there is an emphasis on the importance of interactions and sprawling of cultural and economic engines in local small shops within a community. Franklin Giant Grinders Inc. provides supportive evidence as this family run business competes with other fast food chain shops up and down the street, Dominoes Pizza or other locally run food markets. While making a fair living they are also doing a service to the people that have been coming back for years just to enjoy a meal and a good laugh.
Kevin Premto ’17