Philadelphia in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
The City Tavern
— Independence Hall National Historical Park —
The City Tavern, like many other 18th Century taverns, was more than a “bar.” It was a center for political discussions, business transactions, and social events. Members of the Continental Congress lodged, dined, and celebrated here.
The building in front of you is a reconstruction of the original 1773 tavern. Today visitors from around the world may enjoy lunch or dinner here at what John Adams called “the most genteel” tavern in America.
The City Tavern in Philadelphia was erected at a great expense by a voluntary subscription of the principal gentlemen of the city or the convenience of the public, and is much the largest and most elegant house occupied in that way in America. —Philadelphia Packet, 1884.
Erected by Independence Hall National Historical Park. (Marker Number 29.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Colonial Era • Industry & Commerce. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #02 John Adams series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1773.
Location. 39° 56.834′ N, 75° 8.668′ W. Marker is in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia County. Marker is on South 2nd Street close to Walnut Street, on the left when traveling north. It is in the alley to the right of the tavern, facing the tavern. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 138 S 2nd St, Philadelphia PA 19106, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Hannah Callowhill Penn (within shouting distance of this marker); Slate Roof House (within shouting distance of this marker); Welcome Park (within shouting distance of this marker); William Penn (within shouting distance of this marker); Thomas Bond House (within shouting distance of this marker); The names of the streets… (within Merchants' Exchange Cupola Restoration (within shouting distance of this marker); Fraunces Tavern (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Philadelphia.
More about this marker. The interpretive panel has a large color image captioned, “artist’s conception of members of the Continental Congress celebrating the anniversary of independence at the City Tavern on July 4, 1778.”
Also see . . .
1. Philadelphia's Merchants Moved from Coffee House to Tavern to This “Temple of Commerce”. Excerpt: “By the early 1770s, however, the London Coffee House did not have the capacity to cater to the business demands of a swelling city. Recognizing the need for larger quarters, several nabobs of the social and mercantile aristocracy built the Merchants’ Coffee House which came to be better known as the City Tavern. A business card distributed by an innkeeper at City Tavern in 1789 read, ‘Opened and established by the subscription of Merchants, Captains of Vessels, and other Gentlemen, at the CITY-TAVERN, in Second-street. The two Front Rooms of the house are especially appropriated to their purposes... CHANGE HOURS from 12 to 2 at (Submitted on January 1, 2012.)
2. City Tavern Restaurant. Excerpt: “From  until the close of the century, City Tavern knew the patronage of the great and near-great of the American Revolution. It became the practice of the members of the Second Continental Congress to dine together each Saturday at the Tavern. Eight of the delegates, Randolph, Lee, Washington, Harrison of Virginia, Alsop of New York, Chase of Maryland, and Rodney and Read of Delaware chose to form a ‘table’ and dine there daily. No doubt, matters of momentous importance were discussed and decided over a glass of Madeira and steaming roast of venison.” (Submitted on January 1, 2012.)
3. City Tavern Timeline. (Submitted on August 8, 2019.)
Credits. This page was last revised on August 19, 2019. It was originally submitted on January 1, 2012, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 516 times since then and 34 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on January 1, 2012, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. 5, 6. submitted on August 8, 2019.