Outrider’s Diner – Laurel, MD

Outriders Diner was built by Kullman in 1937. It was demolished in 1999.
It was located at 9855 Washington Blvd. (Rt. 1) and Whisky Bottom Road, in North Laurel. It was attached to a bar, similar to the setup just down the road at the Tastee Diner (formerly the Laurel Diner).

The setup of the diner is interesting, with the door at the end, by the glass brick corner. The door is flanked by a glass brick “delete” panel, keeping the window grid even. The fabric awning was replaced with a metal one sometime in the 1950s, and a vestibule was added, much more in keeping with the style (lack of style?) of the addition, than the diner.


Related pages: 01, 02

Little Tavern Washington No. 20

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.

Little Tavern Locations- Updated List

Harry F. Duncan founded Little Tavern Shops inc. in 1927.
By 1937, 33 Little taverns and two Little Tavern Grills had been opened
By 1940, 45 shops were open
1959- Baltimore office located at 516 york road, Towson, MD
1965- 44 Shops, 17 in Baltimore
In 1972, around 42 Little Taverns were operating
1980- Duncan sold the chain to Gerald Wedren.
1982, 36 were open
1983- 31 locations, 13 in Baltimore
1987- 28 locations, 17 in the DC area, 11 in the Baltimore
In 1988, 22 locations were still operating. Little Tavern sold.
1990- 19 locations
In 1991, 20 locations
1996 -4 locations- wheaton, laurel, conkling st., Holabird
2003- Laurel, Conkling, Holabird owned by Owned by Alfred Roy. Also a seasonal location in Ocean City. Of those locations, only Laurel was a location from the original chain.

Before the Little Tavern name was hit upon, Duncan had already been in the hamburger business for several years.
Feb 14, 1925 – St. Louis No. 1
Between 1925 and 1927, 5 “Baby Beef” were opened in St. Louis.
He sold the chain in 1927 and moved to Louisville, KY, where he opened his first Little Tavern.

Little Tavern
Locations I’ve been able to find the number of.

1. Mach 24, 1927- Louisville No. 1
510 West Broadway Louisville, KY
Referred to within the chain as the “Mother Tavern”. This was the only Louisville location which lasted into WWII. An interesting side note, instead of move to DC with many of the Louisville Crew when Little Tavern shifted to the DC area, former employee Leonard Higdon started a copycat restaurant, called “Little Castle” at 116 S 26th st Louisville KY in the early 1940s.
Image courtesy Larry Collier

2. October 8, 1927 – Louisville No. 2
414 E Broadway, Louisville, KY
Image courtesy Charlene Clark. Check out her paintings!

3. Dec 22, 1927 – Louisville No. 3
652 S 18th St, Louisville, KY
Image courtesy Larry Collier

4. March 24, 1928 – Louisville No. 4 – Sold August 1935
2120 Bardstown Road, Louisville, KY

5. May 17, 1928 – Louisville No. 5
417 W. Chestnut, Louisville, KY
Image courtesy Larry Collier

6. October 30, 1928 – Washington No. 1
814 E Street NW.

7. February 12, 1929- Washington No. 2
3701 New Hampshire Ave. NW Washington DC
Now Sweet Mango Cafe
Image courtesy Charlene Clark. Check out her paintings!

8. August 14, 1929 – Washington No. 3
“3031 14th St. NW : Cost $2000” – The Washington Post, “Building Permits July 7, 1929”

9. December 3, 1929 – Washington No. 4
“One Story Concrete Block Store at 1490 H. St Northeast: Cost $2000” – The Washington Post, “Building Permits Nov 3, 1929”
Remodeled in 1937 – October 3, 1937 Washington Post record
Another record says it is 1492 H. St, and that it was supposed to be open by thanksgiving of that year. The lease was reported by Weaver Bros. Inc. The lease was made by George Shultze of the Shultze motor company.

10. May 15, 1930 – Louisville No. 6 – Closed 1932
129 S. 2nd St., Louisville, KY

11. June 2, 1930 – Baltimore No. 1
1/2 East Mount Royal Ave

12. June 19, 1930- Washington No. 5
2104 14th St. NW Washington, DC
Image Courtesy Lois Smith

The Hamburger Grill
1221 U Street, NW
Referenced in 1933 “The Afro American”

13. 1930- Baltimore No. 2
Greenmount Ave, 32nd St. Baltimore, MD
Now Sea Blue.
Photo Taken 1979

Image courtesy Doug Hansen Photography (http://www.doughansenphotography.com)


Note the castle-like stonework on the right, similar to that found on the earlier Louisville ones.

14. Jan 29, 1931, Baltimore No. 3 (First “Streamlined” Little Tavern- those built prior were of the castle style, it appears. Some were converted to the tudor style later on)
908 W. 36th St. Baltimore MD

15. March 21, 1931 – Baltimore No. 4 – Closed 1932 due to lease problem
East. 25th Street, Baltimore, MD. Remodeled after 1932. Operated as the “Stone Tavern”Photobucket

16. May 6, 1931 – Washington No. 6
630 North Capitol Street, N.W. Washington DC
Restored 1983. Demolished 1988.

17. August 1, 1931- Baltimore No. 5
Conkling Street. Demolished in 2003, along with the Grand theatre. Shop No. 5 was remarkably in-tact at the time of its demolition.
It was remodeled with enameled panels, along with some other design changes, but the location, sign supports and general shape of the building are unmistakable as this location.

Pictures taken prior to its demolition. Ext. – Int. Int.
Image courtesy Larry Collier
Photo courtesy Debra Jane Seltzer

Photo taken 1986

18. December 23, 1931 – Washington No. 7
1344 G street northwest Washington DC
Torn Down, but the outline of the building is still visible on the wall of the building next door.
Full Post with more pictures
Here’s a shot from the 1980s

19. March 22, 1932 – Washington No. 8
Originally located at 1211 H. St. NW. Moved about 4 miles in 1936. to 1309 New York Ave. Relocated c.1956 to 1251 New York Ave NE. Torn down by 1972 to make way for parking lots.

Harry F. Duncan:
“Jackie Kennedy used to pop over to the LT at 12th St. and New York Ave NW ‘eight and nine times a day’ when she was a roving photographer at the nearby Washington Times-Herald, she was quite a coffee drinker,’ he said fondly.”Photobucket
Images courtesy Larry Collier

20. December 3, 1932 – Washington No. 9
5100 Georgia Ave NW Washington DC
Image courtesy Larry Collier

21. Jan 13, 1934 – The Baltimore Grill / Little Tavern Tap Room – Baltimore

22. February 1, 1934 – Washington No. 10 – Moved 80 feet in 1936 to accommodate construction of government building (Bureau of Engraving and Printing Annex) 14th St. Southwest Washington DC
Image courtesy Larry Collier

23. September 15, 1934 – Washington No. 11
Probably the Benning Road location. The date and number are unconfirmed, but as this is the only outstanding location, it follows that it would be no. 11.

24. November 11, 1935 – Washington No. 12
718 H Street, N.E., Washington, D.C.
Now Super Nails.
Building Permit Permit # 183945.
Architect G.B. Wenner. Estimated cost $7,500.
Full Post with more pictures.

25. December 12, 1935 – Washington No. 13
One Story Masonry restaurant at 427 Florida Avenue Northeast, Cost $7500, Lee Luttrell, Designer
The Washington Post permits “October 20, 1935”

Arthur Moreland, 511 K St. Northeast, Manager of a Little Tavern shop, Fifth Street and Florida Ave. Northeast was robbed of $81 at 5am yesterday.
He told the police the man came to the shop and was mistaken for the trash collector. After he was let in the bandit drew a gun and and took the money from the cash register, Moreland said.
Image Courtesy Larry Collier

26. Jan 2, 1936 -Baltimore No. 6

27. April 9, 1936 – Washington No. 14
3333 M. Street NW Washington DC –
Converted Now Sweetgreen
Photo October 1990

28. April 11, 1936 – Baltimore No. 7

519 East 25th Street Baltimore MD (open as of at least 1941)
Picture taken Dec. 1979
Converted. Now Pizza Deal.

29. July 1, 1936 – Washington No. 15
“Little Tavern Shops, Inc. : One Story Cinder Block Restaurant at 1200 Good Hope Road Southeast – Cost $7500, Lee W. Luttrell, designer” (Washington Post May 10, 1936)

30. November 11, 1936 – Washington No. 16
1110 H St. Northwest Washington DC
Closed by mid ’80s. here’s a shot from 1981

Photo c. 1986.

Photo c. 1987 of neon

31. December 31, 1936 – Washington No. 17
2628 Connecticut Ave. Northwest Washington DC
Closed December 1972 for the construction of the Woodley Park-Zoo / Adams Morgan metro station
Asst. Manager in 1971 Robert Trauger.
Image courtesy Larry Collier

32. February 4, 1937 – Washington No. 18
1708 Pennsylvania Ave NW Washington DC
Demolished by 1972.

33. February 9, 1937 – Washington No. 19
1326 New York Ave NW Washington DC

34. March 9, 1937 – Baltimore No. 8

655 Pennsylvania Ave. S.E. Washington, DC 20003 (Washington No. 20)
Converted Now Li’l Pub
Permit issued 11/26/1937 , architect Frank B. Proctor, Estimated Cost $5000, Permit no. 20864
Full Post with more pictures


1301/1303 Wisconsin Ave NW Washington DC
Washington no. 21
1303 Wisconsin Ave NW. Washington DC –
“Little Tavern Shops Inc. will build another restaurant at 1301 Wisconsin Avenue Northwest at an estimated cost of $7,000, Frank B. Proctor designed the building which will be of brick and frame construction.
The Washington Post February 13, 1938
Converted Now Paolo’s
“Ralph B. Swanson- a long time resident of Washington who was manager of the Little Tavern Shop at Wisconsin Avenue and N St. NW for 18 years died friday after a heart attack at his home at 3321 O St. NW. He was 64. Mr. Swanson was known as “Trigger” to his customers and coworkers in Georgetown. A native of Vermont, he moved to Washington about 25 years ago. He has no immediate survivors.” – March 31, 1965.

33-1/2 Independence Ave NW Washington DC – Washington no. 22
Full post with more information

35. 3968 Minnesota Avenue, N.E., Washington, D.C. (Little Tavern Shop No. 23)
Torn Down. Now strip mall featuring “Rainbow” and “Downtown Locker Room”. Next door to former Senator Theatre, built 1942.

36. 2537 Pennsylvania Avenue, S.E., Washington, D.C. (Little Tavern Shop No. 24)
Formerly Best Carryout. Now Continental Construction Next door to the former Highland Theatre.
Built c. 1948?Photobucket

504 13th Street N.W., Washington, D.C.
(Little Tavern Shop no. 25)

37. 2716 Good Hope Road S.E., Washington, D.C. (Little Tavern Shop No. 26)
Now New York Fried Chicken

Photo courtesy Debra Jane Seltzer

38. 6th Street and Morse Street, N.E., (530 Morse St.) Washington, D.C. (Little Tavern Shop No. 27)
Converted Now Subway.

Historic photos 1234
Locations I was not able to find the number of. Some almost certainly overlap with locations in the previous list.

The Shops at National Place (Club LT- opened 1987)
529 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20004

Columbia Mall – Opened September 1982. Lasted until the late 1980s.

Westside Shopping Center- Baltimore MD – 2600 Square Feet
Leased 1985

6414 Holabird Ave Baltimore, MD 21224 Opened April 1983. Closed 2008.
At the time it opened it was the 31st location and 13th in the Baltimore Area.
800 Square Feet- originally a sandwich shop
Introduced fish sandwich, steak and cheese, french fries, larger “tavern burger” with lettuce, tomato and mayo.

Now operating as a used car dealership

2002 Harford Rd. Baltimore, MD Property sold October 1937. Likely opened early 1938.

1 East North Avenue, Baltimore, MD
Full post with more pictures.

900 Block of West North Ave, Baltimore, MD
Was Baltimore regional office location as of at least 1942.
Robbed of $26 in Dec 1952

115 West Baltimore St. Baltimore MD
Property purchased Dec 21, 1939

400 block of East Baltimore St. Baltimore MD- formerly canmaker’s hall. Storefront location. Still there as of 1993.
“The Block”
Map from The Baltimore Book: New Views of Local History By Elizabeth Fee, Linda Shopes
On the cover of “Players of The Block”

3515 Eastern Ave Baltimore, MD 21224

2001 East Monument St, Baltimore, MD
Robbed 1968
Converted- now a Burger King.

3200 Block of Belvedere Ave. Baltimore, MD- East of Park Heights
Picture taken Dec. 1981

photo from btco.net
Photo courtesy Debra Jane Seltzer
Photo Courtesy Debra Jane Seltzer

10 Park Ave Baltimore, MD
Formerly the Lighthouse Pub and the Park Avenue Grill. Tony’s Diner as of 2010.
Photo taken July 1980

516 York Road, Towson, MD
Photo taken 1963
Photo taken 1965
Photo taken 1979
Photo taken 1988

Little Tavern
Glen Burnie, MD

828 North Washington Street, Alexandria, Virginia
Built of brick in 1940 (Building Permit #2542, 5/22/1940)
Resurfaced with porcelain enamel panels 1959 (Building Permit #15009, 5/27/1959).
1993- Friendly Tavern (BAR Case #93-8, 1/6/1993)
1994- Hogs on the Hill (BAR Case #94-104, 10/5/1994).
1995 – Jerry’s Subs (BAR Case #95-189, 12/20/95)
2005- Merry’s Subs Pizza (BAR Case #2005-00226, 10/19/2005)
2008- Asian Wok Cafe

3125 Wilson Blvd Arlington, VA – Built 1941
Converted. Now Goody’s
previously a 24 Hour A Day A Locksmith, Atilla’s Restaurant (Greek), Dumond Cafe, Cafe Cozzi

Former Little Tavern? Now Tarbouch
3110 Lee Highway
Arlington, VA

2601 Columbia Pike, Arlington, VA. Converted from an Ollie’s Trolley to a Little Tavern in late 1983/ early 1984. Virginia No. 4.


Wisconsin Avenue and Cordell Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland (Built c.1939) Restored 1983.
Converted. Now Golden House Chinese Food.

Montgomery Lane and Waverly St in Bethesda MD. (4620 Montgomery Lane) Torn down to make way for a parking garage.
 photo LittleTavernBethesda1966-Copy.jpg

135 Main Street, Annapolis, Maryland
Closed/Torn Down Nothing left at the site.
 photo LT-Copy.jpg

There was another Annapolis location, closed by the 1970s, located on the corner of West st. and Washington St.

11143 Viers Mill Road and Grandview Avenue, Wheaton, Maryland
Torn Down , Though sign-frame is still there, advertising Chuck Levin’s.
c. 1997
Photo courtesy Tom Williams

7413 Baltimore Ave College Park, MD 20740
built c.1940
2010- closed.
Previously housed a Toddle House, JD’s roadhouse, the Philadelphia Cheesecake Factory and Curry Express

8230 Georgia Ave Silver Spring, MD
Built 1938, demolished 2003
Demolished. It operated as Ollies in the 1990s. The neon signge on the roof (not the rooftop) was added sometime after 1957.Photobucket

Corner of Fenton St. and Wayne Ave. Silver Spring, MD – Built 1974
Demolished 2008
In the years between Little Tavern’s demise and this location’s demolition, this location housed a chinese restaurant and was painted bright yellow. This is the newest purpose built freestanding Little Tavern which I have been able to find records of. The design is quite simplified, blockier, and without as many specialized parts. Photobucket

Rt. 1 Laurel, MD – Now operating as the Laurel Tavern. In the process, the front window was converted to a double-wide front door and the original front door was bricked over. The interior, which was nearly completely in-tact at the time of its closing in 2007, was gutted.
Signage was rescued.
Sometime in the 1980s, this Little Tavern was hit by a station wagon. I believe that it was damage from this collision which resulted in this location losing its distinctive white and green enamel paneling, which is visible in this photo.


7801 Coastal Hwy, Ocean City, Maryland
Gone/Converted (Seasonal)
I’m afraid this collectible cutout is the best I can do as far as pictures of this location go. I do not believe this one was operational during the Duncan years of Little Tavern.

A photo from 2011 by Beth Lennon of Retroroadmap.com, while operating as Roy’s Sub Shop.

There was a location in Rosslyn VA.

It’s possible one of the KY locations may have been at 4138 Dixie Highway Louisville, KY

Luther Reason Ray

The Circle Theatre
Luther R. Ray Architect
Vitrolite Products Washington
created 1935

The Circle was located at 2105 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC. It was torn down in the 1980s.
In his younger days, my dad took advantage of their low priced ticketbook – also popular with homeless in the area.

I wonder if Ray was an Eddie Cantor fan?

More info on the Circle

The theater name isn’t on this one- can anyone identify it? Likely in DC, possibly in Maryland. Probably long since bulldozed.

According to the plan, the front would be walnut agate vitrolite, precast stone and stainless.


Hahn’s Shoes
The placement of all the windows and dimensions look almost identical to their 1891 store at 7th and K streets Washington, which burned in 1937.
Source: Shorpy

Alterations to the Hilltop Market – Meats – Groceries
Hilltop Market, 5706 Georgia Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C.


Carr Bros and Boswell
71 Maryland Avenue, Hyattsville, Maryland


Super A&P market

DC / MD diner trip – May 24, 2009

This was my first real diner trip in a while. I met up today with Mike Engle, author of Diners of New York; the man behind NYdiners.com, and roadside buff and frequent Zippy the Pinhead contributor Ed Engel at the American City Diner, and headed out from there.

The first stop of the day was the American City Diner of 5532 Connecticut Ave NW Washington, DC. It’s a late ’80s Kullman, one of the early retro-styled diners, and one of the ones that did it right. For some photos as it appeared when new, click here. Since then, it’s been added on to, with a large side addition, and a front porch which obscures everything to the left of the vestibule.

The Left side of the diner- 2009
The left side of the diner – 1989

The former Howard Theater. Great rusty marquis on this one.


The now abandoned Wonderbread / Hostess Factory



Ran into a little excitement along the way between these two stops, but all’s well that ends well.

Northeast Academy of Dance Neon sign. Look at the detail at the left hand corner of the sign.

We hit up the Capital City Diner, which was moved here on the 20th. Watch the video of it being moved. This Silk City, formerly of Avoca New York, has made its way to the Trinidad neighborhood of Northeast DC.
Photos at its original location and some backstory can be found at :A Real Historic Diner Coming to DC!



This next leg of the trip had some neat neon and signage

A&R Auto Parts

Syd’s Drive In / Liquor

Cross Roads

Tesst theater

Hyattsville Hardware / Franklin’s

Calvert House

Silver Spring’s old Canada Dry bottling plant

A quick stop at the Silver Spring Tastee was made.


More old photos can be found here.

Then a side trip to Forest Glen, parts of which have deteriorated greatly since my last visit.



Dinner at the Tastee Diner in Bethesda


And the trip’s final stop at Bethesda’s former Little Tavern. A 1990 photo of it, when it was still a Little Tavern, can be found on the Diner Hotline.