Philadelphia's Historic City Tavern Is Closing After 26 Years


City Tavern opened on 2nd Street in Old City Philadelphia back in 1994. The revolutionary property dates back to 1773, and is owned by the National Park Service.

Did George and Martha Washington eat there? Yes, according to Chef Walter Staib, the restaurant's proprietor. The menu at City Tavern offered some of the first First family's faves, like Martha's favorite libation, called a Shrub. This drink dates back to the 1500's , and is in Mrs. Washington's 1753 book. Shrub is a drink made from fruit juice vinegar sweetened with sugar and spiked with alcohol or fizzed with soda water. I've had one or two, although the City Tavern menu says Madeira, the fortified wine, was the most consumed beverage of Colonial times. Oh, the things you could learn there at this iconic place while you were dining on something delicious.

Chef Walter Staib is the one who made City Tavern so attractive to so many tourists and locals alike with his warm and fiery personality. Walter's presence WAS City Tavern, and I, for one, am so sorry to see his restaurant close.

Thanks to Walter Staib for the good food, good libations, and good memories at City Tavern in Old City, Philadelphia. So sorry to see you go.