Jazz & Blues
New York City-Lower West Manhattan
May 11, 2018
Forget all those faux-olde-worlde pubs and speakeasies The Fraunces Tavern is a bar with genuine history. It dates all the way back to the ’60s the 1760s, that is, to America’s dawning as a nation. This is the bar where George Washington bade farewell to his officers at the end of the Revolutionary War and it is said to be one of the oldest surviving buildings in Manhattan. The space had been closed for a while but it finally reopened, after some delay, in early 2011, having been sensitively renovated by new owners the Porterhouse Group. Despite the new beer cooling system in the basement and the artfully distressed mirrors a sense of the past has been honoured there’s even an attached museum if your curiosity is stirred (and in keeping with its military theme, active members of the armed forces get free entry). The original ceiling beams have been uncovered and much of the furniture has been made from reclaimed wood, so what it lacks in luxury, it more than makes up for in authenticity. The restaurant boasts plank floors, large shared tables and an open fire and is open from brunch till dinner, serving a range of traditional fare including pies, steaks and burgers. There are a number of separate rooms tucked away inside the Tavern, notably the Dingle Whisky Bar, which serves an impressive range of whiskies in an intimate, pleasantly old fashioned setting. The venue also runs drinks clubs for beer or spirits enthusiasts, with regular events and tastings, though you don’t have to be an expert to join in the fun. Welcoming and unpretentious, The Fraunces Tavern is the perfect place to sup a pint and revel in the past.