Karl Franz graduated from Yale University with a degree in electrical engineering, eventually shifting his electricity to hospitality where he is now a nationally recognized restaurateur. He began his career as a corporate marketer for the likes of Procter and Gamble and Pepsi. His stint in corporate was well-recognized; he won key industry awards (both a Reggie and an Effie award) and has also been honored as one of FOX Business’s Young Guns, by Black Enterprise Magazine, and was the Wallpaper* City Guide New York Insider for 2012.
A passion which started in conversation while working on an innovation project at Pepsi, ultimately led Karl to pursue opening cocktail lounges, eventually hitting his own mark and style, inspired by lost stories of African American culinary history and culture. 67 Orange street, opened in 2008 in Harlem and is the address of the Almack’s Dance Hall, a legendary iconic bar and dance spot in NYC.
Karl’s family hails from the stunning Caribbean Island of St. Vincent. With the desire to celebrate this heritage and the Caribbean’s great spirit – RUM, Karl then opened Solomon & Kuff’s Rum Hall – a 5000 square foot pan-Caribbean restaurant, rum bar, and lounge – located in the Manhattanville Factory District of West Harlem. A cocktail and culinary destination for those looking to experience a taste of the new, Karl oversees all operations as well as the cocktail program which spans over 100 rums and unique rum cocktails.
In July 2016, Karl re-imagined the iconic New Haven Anchor Bar and Restaurant with cocktails and food inspired by various port cities around the world. The New Haven Chamber of Commerce has recognized the Anchor for its creative concoctions and awarded the creative teams its Best Savory Dish Award.
Karl is a proud resident of Harlem, NYC and a founding member of Harlem Park to Park, a neighborhood merchant association formed to help more local businesses succeed. His hobbies include snowboarding, hiking, martial arts, and music. He has designed cocktails for the Yale Club of NY, JC Penney, D’USSE Cognac and many other clients. He is also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.