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City Tavern facts for kids

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City Tavern
The façade of the building
Restaurant information
Slogan A Triumph of Tradition
Established 1976
Current owner(s) Walter Staib
Food type Colonial Cuisine
Street address 138, South 2nd Street,
Walnut Street
City Philadelphia
State Pennsylvania
Postal/ZIP code 19106
Country United States
Reservations Yes

The City Tavern is a late-20th century building designed to be the replica of a historic 18th-century building which stood on the site. It is located at 138 South 2nd Street in Philadelphia, at the intersection of Second and Walnut Streets. The original 18th century building was frequented by the Founding Fathers of the United States and other distinguished people. High-profile events took place there, including the first anniversary celebration of the 4th of July.

The original building was partially burned down in the 19th century and the remains were demolished some years later. Until closing permanently in November 2020, the present building was open to the public as a restaurant which used typical 18th century recipes.


The original structure housed a business which John Adams called the "most genteel tavern in America", and it was a favorite meeting place of some of the Founding Fathers and members of the First Continental Congress. The land on which City Tavern was built was conveyed in 1772 by Samuel Powell to a group of seven wealthy citizens, and the building was completed by subscription at a cost of more than £3,000.

On May 20, 1774, more than 200 men gathered in the gallery of the building to respond to the request for assistance from Bostonians following the passage of the Boston Port Bill. Many other important events took place at the building in the first few decades of the new nation; for example, the first Fourth of July celebration was held at the building in 1777, marking the anniversary of America's Independence from Britain, and General George Washington first met the Marquis de Lafayette at City Tavern in 1777.

The building was partially destroyed by fire on March 22, 1834, and was completely demolished by 1854. The present building was constructed in the 1970s and opened in 1976 for the United States Bicentennial as a functioning tavern and restaurant. From 1994 to 2020, it was operated by Walter Staib, a chef and host of the television shows A Taste of History and Black Forest Cuisine: The Classic Blending of European Flavors.


The Tavern's permanent closing was announced on 2 November 2020 because of a severe downturn in business due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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