Cloudy afternoon in early spring. Public Domain photo; all may use for all purposes.

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Oldest Bar in New York City

New York City is my hometown so anything that has to do with the city interests me. It was interesting to find out that Fraunces Tavern on Pearl Street in the Financial District is the oldest bar in New York City. Not only is it a bar but it’s also a museum. I remember a couple of times being in this bar.  

It has an interesting history. It was opened in 1762 by an immigrant named Samuel Fraunces who came from the Caribbean. At that time he named the bar the Queen’s Head Tavern. It soon became a popular place and was a de-facto headquarters during and after the American Revolution.  

This was the place where the First President of the U.S. George Washington feasted on turtle for dinner after the British troops evacuated New York. It was also where peace negotiations were made with the British and was home to federal offices in the Early Republic. 

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The building went through various changes through the years and in 1900 it was going to be demolished to make room for a parking lot. It always seems that there can never be too many parking lots. The Daughters of the American Revolution protested and the building was bought by the Sons of the Revolution in the State of New York Inc. in 1904. After renovations, it was stated to be Manhattan’s oldest surviving building and declared a landmark in 1965.

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 Since 1907 you can find the Fraunces Tavern Museum on the second and third floors. The museum is dedicated to the history of the American Revolution. After the revolution, it was the place where you could find the nation’s War, Treasury, and Foreign Affairs departments. Today you can enjoy fine food and drink in the tavern and then get a look at the period rooms, paintings and changing exhibits and events which give visitors a chance to find out about the American Revolution.


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