The Franklin, Traverse City’s New Restaurant from the Trattoria Stella Team


For several months now, one of the biggest stories on the TC culinary scene has been “The Restaurant to be Named Later,” the coming restaurant that Paul & Amanda Danielson and Myles Anton are opening at the corner of Front & Cass in the heart of downtown Traverse City.

Myles Anton Amanda Danielson and Paul Danielson

Myles Anton, Amanda Danielson and Paul Danielson

Today (no foolin’) we are able to share that the new restaurant will be called “The Franklin” and is on track to open May 12, 2014. They explain that the word franklin comes from the Middle English “frankeleyn” (free man) describing the class of people neither gentry nor serf – free men who owned their own property and were beholden to no one. It’s a concept formalized by the Magna Carta that formed the basis for our own nation. In addition, they feel that Benjamin Franklin was a guy we’d all do well to emulate.

TC-based Keen Technological Solutions is putting their experience with greener, cleaner buildings into practice, using refrigerant heat recovery, solar thermal generation, ultra efficient boilers and other innovations that have the building on track for LEED certification. In addition to state-of-the art brick, steel & glass construction, the restaurant will put a 120-year-old back bar back into service that has been resting in a barn in Leelanau county since the 1980s and feature a common table like the one at Stella made from a massive cottonwood trunk. With a spacious, outdoor patio and a smaller indoor dining area on the second floor, the restaurant will seat close to 250 people in good weather and offer an amazing place to enjoy downtown’s energy.

Chef Gabe Rodriguez at work

Chef Gabe Rodriguez at work

Executive Chef Myles Anton and Chef di Cuisine Gabe Rodriguez are preparing a menu featuring mix of Michigan favorites and new flavors from around the world. Myles has been the  chef and co-owner of Trattoria Stella for the last decade earned accolades from local & national press and The James Beard Society (read our feature on Myles right here). Gabe graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in 2005 and will be leading the kitchen operations at The Franklin. Through work for Sushi Master Nobu Matsuhisa, Iron Chef Marc Forgione and at leading restaurants in New York, Los Angeles and Austin, Gabe has developed extensive experience with Japanese, Latin, French and Italian cuisine.

Amanda Danielson, sommelier of Trattoria Stella, will use her years of experience to create a seasonal beverage program featuring twenty tap handles pouring a wide range of beer styles, 2 custom blended local wines and a proprietary cider. In addition to a full wine list, they will have a craft-focused spirits program and an equal attention to quality non-alcoholic beverages.

They are on track to open May 12 and still have some of the 100-plus jobs available. Get employment applications and more information at and also visit them on Facebook.