Little Tavern: Washington no. 7

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

Little Tavern updates for Baltimore

Found some more locations in the Baltimore Sun archives.

June 2, 1930 – Baltimore No. 1
1/2 East Mount Royal Ave
This would have been built originally in the castle style and remodeled in tudor cottage in the later ’30s.
I’d known the opening date for a while, but now finally have an address. It’s a parking lot now.

Columbia Mall – Opened September 1982
I’d had a tip on this one, but the newspaper archives confirmed it. It lasted until the late ’80s.

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. Remodeled in green. Awning substituted for tavern roof triangle.
Introduced fish sandwich, steak and cheese, french fries, larger “tavern burger” with lettuce, tomato and mayo.

2002 Harford Rd. Baltimore, MD Property sold October 1937. Likely opened early 1938.
This one seems to have been held up the most of any Little Tavern in Baltimore. It had bullet proof glass in front of the register and employees in the ’70s at the latest, so the robbers stepped it up to shotguns.

900 Block of West North Ave, Baltimore, MD
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
“The Block”

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

And while I’m at it, some White Coffee Pot locations I ran across from 1951
Monroe and Edmundston Baltimore, MD
Linden and North Ave
3124 Park Heights Ave
1200 Light St.
It doesn’t look like there’s really anything recognizable at any of the locations.

Tudor Cottages- Possible LT?

East. 25th Street, Baltimore, MD.
I have a much stronger feeling about it having once been part of the Little Tavern Shops chain.
If it was a Little Tavern, it has obviously been covered in stone since its construction, and that remodeling was done some time ago. For a better picture, please look HERE

Still, the design similarities are striking. The window placement throughout the structure is consistent with Little Taverns, as is the window division, into tall panes instead of simple plate glass. Windows are inset with regard to the stonework in such a way as to lead me to believe that the stone was added over top the building. I’ve seen it time and time again with diners and it yields the same basic appearance. If this is in fact a former Little Tavern, it appears the window was narrowed from four to three panes. The plan and section appear consistent with Little Tavern design as well.

The gable over the front door is consistent with the early ’30s Little Taverns in that it is larger and broader than those found on later taverns. See Baltimore No. 5 for the larger version, which extended up four rows of roof tile as opposed to the 2 rows of tile found on later Little Taverns. Granted, there is a bump out around the door not found on Little Taverns, but I believe this is simply the later stonework.

The Stone Tavern’s green enamel lights, pointing at what is currently siding, but on a Little Tavern would have been signage are consistent with what was being put on locations in the early 1930s.

Right across the street from a Little Tavern operating as “Pizza Deal”. As the stone tavern design appears consistent with the design found on the earlier Little Taverns, I would wager that this is Baltimore no.4, opened March 21, 1931, Closed 1932 due to lease problem. The “Pizza Deal” location looks like a later tavern, from the ’40s or possibly as late as the 1950s.

N. Charles St and 26th Street, Baltimore, MD.

The brick construction is consistent with Little Taverns, which were brick/cinder block until c.1935. Later enamel ones were of brick/cinder block construction with paneling added over top. In some cases, they lost their panels later in their life, exposing the underlying brick. The Laurel Location (with) and (without) and Washington no. 24 both show this.

The roof pitch seems appropriate for Little Tavern, as does the general shape of the building, with the tudor cottage section in the front and the extension off the back. The door and front plate glass windows appear to be later additions and adjusting the contrast, it appears there may have once been a window on the left side, as there would have been on an LT.

Still, the scale looks slightly off- Little Taverns were generally a bit taller in the body of the building, and as a rule did not have chimneys. Until I find evidence otherwise, I’d say this one is not in fact a Little Tavern, but it was built at the same time period in a very similar style.

Also in the area with a similar form, but never a Little Tavern as far as I can tell. Much more of a colonial thing going on rather than Tudor.

Bethesda, MD Little Tavern

Here are some photos my dad took yesterday of the Bethesda Little Tavern.

From Cerphe of WHFS:
Here’s the deal: i was lucky enough to interview jerry garcia on 3 occasions and one of the times in 1977 at whfs in bethesda, garcia along with several people in his posse along with weasel, a fellow dj on hfs, walked down cordell avenue to the little tavern near the intersection of woodmont and cordell. they had the munchies…go figure.

the group is lumbering down the sidwalk when suddenly approached by several stoners whom intently stare at them, eyes dialate and collective jaws drop. after being speechless for a moment…one points and says………..’look……….it’s WEASEL……..!’

the stoners didn’t even notice jerry garcia, but it was a very big deal to see weasel. like ships passing in the night, the two groups went their separate ways, garcia remained invisible and managed to get his little tavern burgers , return to the studio and join me on my show.

couple footnotes…being vegetarian, there wasn’t much for me to eat at club LT, so i hadn’t put in a lobster lollie or burger order (ha!) AND seeing as i couldn’t leave the studio (i was on-air and not on the sidewalk where this hunter thompson-esque caper went down) i didn’t witness it. the story was told to me after the fact, so some urban legend, revisionist history could be at work here.

at this point, both little tavern AND jerry garcia have left the building…so no harm.

Little Tavern models

I built these for my ARCH 2000 “visual thinking” class.

I ran out of time with the big one, so the gable over the door and the rooftop sign were not added when the pictures were taken.

Small model, from the 1931 design

A quarter for scale

The big one

while still under construction

A rough, medium sized one, which I used to figure out some of the construction of the large one.

Little Tavern- Washington No. 27

This former Little Tavern is located at the corner of 6th and Morse St., NE Washington, DC. It is now a Subway. Despite having lost its distinctive color scheme and signage, the exterior still looks as though it is fairly in tact. Washington #24 appears to have been built c.1948. It stands to reason that No. 27 dates from the late 1940s or early 1950s. I will try to find more documentation regarding the exact date of construction.

For pictures from 1988, taken while it was still operating as a Little Tavern, please click here.

For a in the process list of all Little Tavern locations, click here.

Little Tavern- Washington no. 12

This Little Tavern, the twelfth built in the district, located at 718 H. St, N.E. Washington DC, was built in 1935. My records show it was completed on November 11 of that year. According to building permit 183945, it was designed by Architect G.B. Wenner, and had an estimated cost of construction of $7,500.

The facade has been changed to accommodate floor to ceiling windows. The roof has been painted orange, though the original Little Tavern green is showing through in areas where the more modern paint has flaked off.

The current signage indicates it’s operating as “Super Nails”, though it is not clear if it currently in operation.

For a in the process list of all Little Tavern locations, click here.

Little Tavern #24 – Pennsylvania Ave SE

A friend sent photos of this former Little Tavern, located at 2537 Pennsylvania Avenue, S.E., Washington, D.C.
According to Library of Congress records, it was built in 1948; Architect Charles R. Zeller. Another record of it, “Working drawing showing assembly of porcelain enamel cladded panels for fast food restaurant as elevations, diagrams, and axonometrics projections”, exists from 1955. According to that record, it was Little Tavern Shop #24