Landmarks in NYC. Situated at 54 Pearl Street at the corner of Broad Street, Fraunces Tavern is the oldest bar in NYC. An iconic place full of history and anecdotes. It played an important role in pre-Revolution as well as American Revolution. In fact, Fraunces Tavern served as a headquarters for President George Washington, a venue for peace negotiations with the British, and housing federal offices in the Early Republic. Wooow! Too much for a simple bar! In fact, today it’s also a restaurant and museum.
The museum interprets the building along with varied exhibitions of art and artifacts, and the tavern is a tourist site and a part of the American Whiskey Trail and the New York Freedom Trail. If you go to New York, visit it. It’s worth!
Etienne “Stephen” DeLancey, a French Huguenot built the current building as a house in 1719. His heirs sold the building in 1762 to Samuel Fraunces who converted the home into the popular tavern, first named the Queen’s Head.
During the tea crisis caused by the British Parliament’s passage of the Tea Act of 1765, the patriots forced a British naval captain who tried to bring tea to New York to give a public apology at the building.
In 1768, the New York Chamber of Commerce was founded by a meeting in the building.
Fraunces Taver has been owned by Sons of the Revolution in the State of New York Inc. since 1904, which carried out a major conjectural reconstruction, and claim it is Manhattan’s oldest surviving building.
“[w]ith a heart full of love and gratitude, I now take leave of you. I most devoutly wish that your latter days may be as prosperous and happy as your former ones have been glorious and honorable.” Gen. George Washington’s farewell to his officers of the Continental Army in Fraunces Taver on December 4, 1783.