Have you ever felt unsafe while walking, biking or driving along Franklin Avenue in Crown Heights? The Department of Transportation is hosting a public meeting next week to discuss traffic safety improvements on Franklin between Atlantic Avenue and Empire Boulevard. Community members can attend and suggest ways to improve traveling on the major thoroughfare in community districts eight and nine.

The meeting will take place Wednesday, April 2 from 7 to 9 pm in the President’s Conference Room at Medgar Evers College, located at 1650 Bedford Avenue. Additional info and a DOT contact can be found here on the flyer for the meeting.

Image by DOT


Ex-financier Kwhame Gittens opened his new American bistro, Docklands, last Tuesday on Franklin Avenue between Lincoln and St. Johns in Crown Heights. When we last wrote about Docklands, its owners thought they were close to opening back in September. Now that they have all their permits in order, chefs from Arcadia and Le Cirque are serving up homey dishes like lobster mac and cheese, prawn plantains and sweet and spicy chicken wings.

The menu is mostly small dishes at the moment, but Gittens says they’ll add bigger plates with pork belly, three more types of fish, and beef. The restaurant will be open Wednesday to Sunday for a few weeks. Once they’ve finished staffing up, they’ll be open seven days a week and serve brunch. The little eatery also offers free oysters during Happy Hour.

New-American Bistro Opening Soon on Franklin [Brownstoner] GMAP


The Department of Sanitation is running an experiment this fall involving trash can placement on Franklin Avenue at Sterling Place, according to an email and online post from the Crow Hill Community Association. Sanitation has removed all the trash baskets from this corner of Franklin during the first phase of the experiment, which will last until October 25.  In the next phase, there will be two trash baskets, and in the third phase, there will be four.

“This is a controversial topic,” said the association. “Some believe that more trash baskets bring more trash; others believe that we need more trash baskets to handle all the activity along Franklin Avenue.”

So they’re conducting a test to see which approach results in the cleanest streets. Crown Heights residents who spend time on Franklin between Sterling and Park Place can record their observations on litter during the test period in this online form.


A small apartment building is going up on Franklin Avenue between St. Marks and Bergen in Crown Heights. Building permits say the four-story building at 655 Franklin will have eight units with a total of 7,687 square feet of residential space. The property last sold in 2010 for $235,000 from an LLC to another company, according to Property Shark. A construction manager on site told us he expected the project to wrap up by late fall or winter. No word yet on whether these will be rentals or condos. GMAP


After nearly a year of renovation work, new-American bistro Docklands Trading is close to opening at 789 Franklin Avenue between Lincoln Place and Saint Johns Place. The forthcoming addition to Crown Heights’ restaurant scene plans to offer classic American fare like burgers and raw oysters and clams, as well as pasta, with five beers on tap. The owners also plan to serve Prohibition-era cocktails, such as sidecars, gimlets, and old-fashioneds.

The narrow restaurant has a few booths on the left as you walk in, and then it opens up to a slightly larger bar area and another small seating room in the back. Despite the American-style menu, the name of the restaurant references the owners’ years working in finance near London’s Canary Wharf, an area now called the Docklands. They hope to open by the end of September or early October. Click through to the jump to see photos of the (almost) finished interior. GMAP



I Love Franklin Ave has been following the progress of the new restaurant opening in the former Franklin Roadhouse space, near the corner of Prospect Place and Franklin Avenue, and now has some inside shots of how the construction is coming, as well as news that it will be named “Mayfield.” Here’s the scoop from the blog:

“Back in March, local residents and NYC culinary-scene veterans Jacques Belanger and Lev Gewirtzman made news with the announcement that they were taking over the former Franklin Roadhouse Space. Yesterday, they gave ILFA a tour of their new restaurant, which they’ve dubbed ‘Mayfield’ ‘in honor of Curtis,’ according to Lev. The interior already looks completely different than it once did. …Unlike at the Roadhouse, you’ll be able to sit at the bar, which will serve a full lineup of beer, wine, and liquor, and will include, between the kitchen and the booze, a raw bar. …the menu is far from settled, but they still plan to serve seasonal American fare in what Lev called an ‘everyday, casual’ setting, focused around the raw bar and whatever fresh produce comes their way. Whenever they open, I think it’s a safe bet that they’ll be hotly-anticipated, even in a budding foodie scene…”

The hope is for it to be completed by the end of the year.
A Look Inside Mayfield [I Love Franklin Ave] GMAP
Photo courtesy of I Love Franklin Ave