I don’t know about you, but when I think of early American history, my thoughts naturally migrate to Massachusetts, Virginia, and Washington DCーnever New York City. Recently, though, musicals like Broadway’s smash hit, Hamilton, and shows like AMC’s, Turn, have flipped the script on that. As it happens, New York City is a veritable cornucopia of American history, from momentum-changing events to the rise of some of our most enduring national figures.
Of the many historical landmarks in New York City, Fraunces Tavern stands unparalleled in its significance. Since 1762, it has been party to crucial events leading up to, during, and after the Revolutionary War. Of particular note: The Sons of Liberty (often incorrectly reduced solely to their famous Boston chapter of Tea Party fame) held meetings at the tavern in its earliest days; Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton attended a meeting of the The Society of Cincinnati under its roof; and, of course, George Washington used the locale as headquarters during the early days of the American Revolution and famously delivered his farewell address to his troops at the war’s conclusion.
For those with even the slightest bit of historical curiosity, you won’t be disappointed. There’s an excellent (though not overwhelmingly large) museum on site that incorporates artifacts from it’s permanent collection as well as various exhibitions. Then again, maybe you find all this museum talk stuffy and boring and would prefer to just nibble on a little something and imbibe while you drink in the historic ambiance. Well, it’s not called a tavern for nothing! Fraunces Tavern offers over 140 carefully selected craft beers, over 200 whiskeys from around the world, and sports a full menu, serving brunch through dinner. They even have reservable party rooms focusing on particular spirits, such as Bourbon Lounge, Wine Room, The Porterhouse Bar, and more.
If a visit to Fraunces Tavern makes you wish you’d paid more attention in American History, then you can also head over to Federal Hall, which is home to the first Congress and is the birthplace of the Bill of Rights and the Judiciary Act. Oh, and Washington was inaugurated here too.
54 Pearl St
Daily 11am – 2am
Since you’re already in the area, wander over to Stone Street, which is rumored to be the first paved street in New York City. While we can’t confirm that it’s the oldest street in the city, we can vouch that it’s one of the most charming. Restaurants and bars line the cobblestone street, which is strictly pedestrian-only. Residents like the Dubliner and Stone Street Tavern lend it a subtle international flair. On warm summer nights, outdoor dining under string lights can make for a magical evening. It’s also a popular photo shoot destination for obvious reasons, so if you run into a model striking a pose, try not to gawk!
Pair it with:
The Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog
Sure, we could have chowed down at Fraunces Tavern. Certainly there would be no shame in that. But when you have an establishment of The Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog’s stature just a few steps away, you have a serious decision to make. The accolades tell the tale: Best Bar in North America for 4 straight years and World’s Best Bar in 2016. Now that is a very strong statement. So what makes this place so special?
Well, for starters, it’s situated top to bottom (The Occasional, The Parlor, and The Taproom, respectively) on three separate floors, each with their own individual charms but with a cohesive vision throughout. You’ll find lots of photographs and memorabilia on the walls and ceilings. You’ll find lots of gorgeous wood and plush leather seat cushions. And you’ll find pretty much any drink you desire, whether it’s beer, wine, champagne, Irish Whiskey or the dazzling array of creative mixed drinks. (Oh, and the menu for those drinks is a comic book, I kid you not!) You’ll also find, as we did, hearty and eclectic pub fare on the menu. You’ll even find sawdust on The Taproom floor, if you’re into that sort of thing. In short, you will find your bar—one that speaks to you—among those levels. Go there as we did. Make it yours.
30 Water St
Monday – Sunday, 11AM – 4AM
Monday – Saturday, 5PM – 2AM & Sunday, 5PM – 12AM
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