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.)
Location. 39° Touch for map. It is in the alley to the right of the tavern, facing the tavern. Marker is at or near this postal address: 138 S 2nd St, Philadelphia PA 19106, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Hannah Callowhill Penn (within shouting distance of this marker); Thomas Bond House (within shouting distance of this marker); Fraunces Tavern (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Philadelphia Exchange (about 300 feet away); Tun Tavern (about 500 feet away); Pennsylvania Abolition Society (about 500 feet away); Mechanics' Union of Trade Associations (about 600 feet away); Elliott Building (about 600 feet away). 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 Noon, and 6 to 8 in the Evening.’ The card went on to advertise rooms for rent, a restaurant, a stable, and liquors, at ‘reasonable rates’.” (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 (Submitted on January 1, 2012.)
Categories. • Colonial Era • Industry & Commerce •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on January 1, 2012, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia. This page has been viewed 374 times since then and 21 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on January 1, 2012, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia.