Little Tavern mural- Wheaton, MD

Overview of mural

Detail of Little Tavern

“The Spirit of Wheaton” 1990.

The former location of the Wheaton Little Tavern. The frame of the sign is still standing, but the insert has been replaced.

Site Plan of the corner, showing where the Wheaton Little Tavern was originally.


Info on mural and its location

Latest Art

Some quick and dirty sharpie sketches of Little Taverns

Do-Nut Diner – Front Royal Virginia (4″x6″)
This was originally part of the Donut Dinette chain. For more on the chain, look here.

Short Stop Diner- Wheaton, Maryland (4″x5″)

The Rebirth of Little Tavern?

I received this message today and thought it was best to share it as a post, rather than let it become buried in with the rest of the comments which have been posted on this blog.

In response to all that is written about the passing of Little Tavern Shops, the small size concept is dead.

However Little Tavern is not. . .We are moving ahead and will be opening New Stores in the MD-DC Area in the near future. We have retained every thing related to the past Little Taverns, from Design, Looks, Colors and Signage, including Pictures of the past & Harry F. Duncan, which will be incorporated in the Stores and Marketing.

I noticed somewhere in Your acticles about the Little Tavern Mugs. We have the Orginal One, which is being re-made and will be available for sale at reasonable Price.

James E. Cumbest Jr. T/A Little Tavern Shop LLC. 410-661-4394 Fax 410-66-4397


Jeccoinc.com

Little Tavern Design

The first Washington DC Little Tavern, located at 814 E Street, NW, opened its doors in 1928. It appears the site is now the home of a twelve story apartment building and a Bank of Georgetown.

Early Little Taverns seem to have had a design similar to that of 1920s White Castles and White Towers.
Photobucket

By 1931, the Tudor Cottage Design had been adopted
Photobucket

Photobucket

In 1937, it was updated with a bit more of a moderne syle
Photobucket

Typical Plans and detail
Photobucket

Photobucket

A design from 1949
Photobucket

And a later, simplified design. What I’ve found on this one points to a date of construction in 1974
Photobucket
This one was found in Silver Spring, Maryland until relatively recently. When it was torn down, it had been painted yellow and was operating as a Chinese restaurant.

Little Taverns past

I went through some my dad’s slide archives and turned up a few more Little Tavern shots.

Little Tavern- Laurel, MD
Photobucket

now
Photobucket

The sign of this one has been rescued and restored.

Little Tavern- Silver Spring, MD
Photobucket

Little Tavern – Silver Spring, MD
Photobucket

Photobucket

Little Tavern- Route 1, Alexandria, VA
Photobucket

As it is now

Little Tavern – Georgetown, Washinton D.C.
that’s him on the right.

Photobucket

As it is now

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.
Photobucket

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

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

Photobucket

The now abandoned Wonderbread / Hostess Factory

Photobucket

Photobucket

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.
Photobucket

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!

Photobucket

Photobucket

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

A&R Auto Parts
Photobucket

Syd’s Drive In / Liquor
Photobucket

Cross Roads
Photobucket

Tesst theater
Photobucket

Hyattsville Hardware / Franklin’s
Photobucket

Calvert House
Photobucket

Silver Spring’s old Canada Dry bottling plant
Photobucket

A quick stop at the Silver Spring Tastee was made.

Now
Photobucket

Then
Photobucket
More old photos can be found here.

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

Photobucket

Photobucket

Dinner at the Tastee Diner in Bethesda
Photobucket

Then
Photobucket

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.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Snow White Grill – Winchester, Virginia

The Snow White Grill in Winchester was built c. 1948. Snow White Grill was another burger chain, along the lines of Little Tavern, White Tower, or White Castle. They were in the West Virginia, Virginia, and Maryland Area. Interestingly, the Snow White Grills were designed by the same architect, Luther Reason Ray, of the Structural Porcelain Enamel company, who also designed the classic Little Taverns, as well as Hot Shoppes in the same area. This explains the obvious similarities in design and materials.

Photobucket

Photobucket

The Library of Congress has records regarding Snow White Grills from:

1941 – Snow White Grill for Hansel Hurst, Queen Street and Burke Street, Martinsburg, West Virginia
1948 – Snow White Grill for Hansel Hurst, 159 Loudoun Street, Winchester, Virginia – Luther R. Ray Architect
1948 – Snow White Grill – 9 Patrick Street, Frederick, Maryland
1950 – Snow White Grill for Hansel Hurst, 239 N. Market Street, Frederick, Maryland
1952 – Snow White Grill for Hansel Hurst, South Potomac Street, Hagerstown, Maryland (Detail Shots)
1954-1955 – Snow White Grill Inc., Baltimore Street and Guilford Avenue, Baltimore, Maryland
1955-1956 -Snow White Grill, Inc., West Baltimore Street and Howard Street, Baltimore, Maryland
1959 – remodel front of building for Snow White Grills, 1513 E. Joppa Road, Towson, Maryland
1960 -Snow White Grill, 1808 North Charles Street, Baltimore, Maryland

It’s possible that there were more.

Laurel Little Tavern

Here’s the current status of the Laurel Little Tavern, Now the Laurel Tavern, post remodel.

Photobucket
January 2006

Photobucket
March 2007

Photobucket
August 2008

To see some older photos of this one, look at the Diner Hotline, a wonderful blog, and a wonderful resource.

According to wikipedia,

Little Tavern(Laurel Md.)was closed by Little Tavern Shops LLC.(Parent Co.)All Use of Licensing Agreement and Trade Marks canceled for said Property at said time. Little Tavern Shops has nothing to do with present on site operation and the (new on site operation)is not licensed to operate as Little Tavern Shops or use any of Little Tavern Shops Logo’s, Sayings, or Trade Marks. As of April 30.2008, the last little Tavern Shop was closed, with all othes being closed over the past two years as leases expired, under a long term plan for a New Little Tavern Store Operation, to fit within Fast Food Market Resturant Operation of today. Little Tavern Shops is now moving ahead with It’s New Operation’s and the planned Licensing of, Free Satnding and Shoppiong Center Stotr Loction in, Md-Del-Pa-Va-Area’s. But Still Maintaining It’s old time Qualtiy of “Style and Food Service” For Futher Information please contact Little Tavern Shops LLC. C/O (Marketing) Jecco Co. Inc. 410-661-4394 Fax 410-661-4394 The Hereof statement has been prepared, approved and authorized by James E. Cumbest Jr. T/A Little Tavern Shops LLC. Carroillton Bank Building 1740 E. Joppa Rd. Balto. 21234

– – – – – – – –

– – – – – – – –
The original is gone. The beautiful original neon signage, the last remaining is gone. The backbar with the green mirrored panels, built as per Harry F. Duncan’s original 1933 Patent, D89950, is gone. The stools, the tile, everything that made it the original is gone. The rest, closed, their buildings converted or torn down. We lost the Silver Spring Little Tavern, the one with the yellow roof, just a few months ago.

I am saddened by the passing of the original, the real Little Tavern. May she rest in peace.