Nestled in the lowest part of Manhattan, Fraunces Tavern has been operating as an American Colonial Tavern since 1762, making it older than the country itself! This also makes it the oldest bar in New York City. The tavern looks great for it’s age though, considering it has played a prominent role in pre-Revolution, American Revolution and post-Revolution history. The location served as a headquarters for George Washington, a venue for peace negotiations with the British, and housed federal offices post-war.
The coolest party here took place after the British troops evacuated the city in 1783. A week later the tavern hosted an elaborate “turtle feast” dinner in the building’s Long Room for George Washington where he bade farewell to his officers of the Continental Army. Today you can still celebrate here, like I did with my own Dad after running the New York City Half Marathon this past winter.
So the fact that it’s a historical landmark where you can party like our forefathers is one reason to visit here, but truly, this bar has something for everyone! Beer drinker? They have over 140 craft beers for your enjoyment, many coming from The Porterhouse Brewing Company (aka Ireland’s #1 brewery!) Whiskey Aficionado? The Dingle Whiskey Bar has over 200 types to taste. Want to be entertained? Fridays feature a DJ, get your Jazz brunch on on Saturdays, or boogie down to some traditional Irish tunes on Sundays. Hungry? We haven’t sampled everything on the list, but we know personally that they have scotch eggs and corned beef down, so going there on an empty stomach will not be a problem! They also have Happy Hour, Monday – Friday!
The tavern is segmented into different rooms, so if you go and it seems crowded, try walking around. Inside Tip: Walk all the way to the back of the building (or enter through a second entrance on Water Street) to Lafayette’s Hideout. This room has a sports bar-esque feel (if GW had his own sports bar) and we’ve found it to be less crowded than the other rooms (think, lots more standing room). The upper floors also house a museum if you’re interested in learning about more of its history.
Featured Photo Credit: Patrick Ashley