White Tower Sign

I made the drive down from Maryland to Midlothian VA today to pick this up.

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This neon sign was previously mounted on Richmond White Tower No. 1, which was located at 223 East Grace Street. It was originally built in 1939, and remodeled in 1960, which is probably when this sign was installed. The building is still there. It’s been de-towered, and painted, but it’s still recognizable.

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White Coffee Pot Restaurants – Baltimore, MD

This matchbook is from the Baltimore chain of White Coffee Pot restaurants. They operated in the Baltimore area from 1932 through to 1993. At one time, they had 33 locations. They’re all gone now, but at one time, they were all over Baltimore. They’ve come up a fair bit in my Little Tavern research, but I haven’t done any dedicated research into them directly as to their full history or locations.

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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.
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By 1931, the Tudor Cottage Design had been adopted
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In 1937, it was updated with a bit more of a moderne syle
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Typical Plans and detail
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A design from 1949
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And a later, simplified design. What I’ve found on this one points to a date of construction in 1974
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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.

DiNic’s- Ex White Tower- NJ/WV

This New Jersey White Tower was one of the rare ones built by the Valentine Diner company. Under threat of destruction, it was moved to West Virginia by John Shoaf.

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Next door was the beautiful Harwan Movie theater, which as I understand it, is no more.

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Laurel Little Tavern

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

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January 2006

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March 2007

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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

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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.