It’s been over four years since the start of the Jecco era of Little Tavern, and while nearly every post I make about the history of the former hamburger empire gets the same vague comments from that organisation about the reopening and rebirth of the chain, a location has yet to open.
I’ve seen the website, I’ve seen the craigslist ads and facebook comments searching for franchisees, and I’ve seen the ebay store, but I have yet to see any definite and tangible indications that this “rebirth” is any closer than it was four years ago.
Readers will know the passion I have for the history of this organization, and how much I’d like to see it come back. But the longer I wait, the less faith I have that I will ever see the chain successfully rise again. I would love to be proven wrong.
Today was a big day for my Little Tavern collection. I picked up four new mugs, and eight stools. Three of the mugs are Jackson, one is Shenango. Four of the stools are from Washington No. 9 (1932, 5100 Georgia Ave NW) and four from Washington No. 15 (1936, 1200 Good Hope Rd SE).
Little Tavern’s slogan used to be “Buy ‘Em By The Bag”.
I did, and I brought them back to the studio for some product shots. Mug is ’50s vintage.
The burgers came from the Laurel Tavern, formerly the Laurel location of the Little Tavern. They tracked down the original burger recipe and are still selling them, along with some really good fresh donuts. If you miss Little Tavern, take the trip, you won’t be disappointed. The building has lost its paneling, its neon and its interior, but they still deliver in the food department.
Laurel Tavern Donuts
115 Washington Boulevard Laurel, MD 20707
I walked over to this one, now the Li’l Pub while I was waiting for the Library of Congress to open. The exterior, though painted, is well preserved, still even retaining its leaded glass windows. Inside appears to have been altered substantially to make it more functional as a bar.
Detailing around the door.
Sides still white
655 Pennsylvania Ave. S.E. Washington, DC 20003
Permit no. 20864 issued 11/26/1937 , architect Frank B. Proctor, Estimated Cost $5000.
While doing research at the Madison building of the Library of Congress, I happened across this picture, taken c.1940 of a Little Tavern located at 33-1/2 Independence Ave (more or less), which is the same location as the building in which I was doing my research. Construction started on the James Madison Memorial building in 1971.
Great picture of a Little Tavern. I find it interesting that it appears there is no signage. I would guess this was taken before it opened?
I also love the building next door and the dark colored vitrolite (or maybe its enamel) that wraps the entire lot and the building next door.
I went and hunted down the site of Washington No. 7 today, which opened on December 23, 1931. From the size of the tree growing up through the vacant lot, I would say its been gone for a while at this point. The building itself is gone, but the outline of the signature Little Tavern roof is still visible on the wall of the building next door. The brick basement is all still there, covered by a steel framework which I would assume was the floor of the LT. And what’s this I see? Green enameled steel roof tiles? Too bad they’re a story beneath street level and behind a plywood construction fence.
This entire section of G street looks like its waiting to be torn down or otherwise redeveloped. The buildings to the left are all vacant. The Hahn / Florsheim shoe store in the old bank building is also gone, though it seems the National Bank of Washington still occupies it and the buildings seem to have fallen on hard times. For those who don’t know the area, it’s all high priced offices and condos around this cluster.
The vacant lot
Next door to the National Bank of Washington
ghost of an LT
Sorry for the crappy pic- I may be tall, but the eight foot plywood fence is taller, and getting pictures through the 1/2″ gap between two of the panels just wasn’t happening. This is the steel framing over a brick foundation and basement. Lots of tree going on.
Rusty green tiles from the Little Tavern green roof.
Washington no. 7 was (is?) located at
1344 G street northwest Washington DC