White Tavern Shops was founded in 1929 by Jerome Lederer. He lived in Louisville, KY in 1928, where he would have seen the early Days of “Little Tavern Shops”. It’s possible that he worked for them, and like confirmed Little Tavern employee, Leonard Higdon, left to form his own copycat version, called “Little Castle”
By the peak of the chain, they had 13 locations. With WWII, the chain wound down. In 1946, Lederer opened the first of what would become a chain of Jerry’s Restaurants. After Lederer’s death in 1963, his restaurant’s manager, Warren Rosenthal took control of the operation, going on to found Long John Silvers under the corporate umbrella.
The name “White Tavern” combined the names of two hamburger chains popular in Kentucky at the time, Little Tavern Shops, and White Castle. The slogan “Buy a Bagful” is the exact same as that used by White Tower, and mirrors Little Tavern’s of “Buy ‘em By The Bag” and White Castle’s of “Buy ‘em by the Sack”.
They had locations at:
216-1/2 South Limestone, Lexington, KY (1st location)
113 North Limestone Street, Lexington, KY
265 East Main Street, Lexington, KY
518 West Main Street, Lexington, KY. Later the “Jerry Freez” ice cream stand was opened next door.
327 West Main Street Danville, KY
308 W Washington Street, Charleston, WV
1215 Washington Street, Charleston, WV