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Ale and History: Time-Traveling in Fraunces Tavern

There's a certain place in the Financial District where you can travel back in time, a pint of beer in hand. This is not your average dive bar, microbrewery, or upscale lounge. Fraunces Tavern is a melting pot of history, hearty meals, and frothy ales, imbued with tales of revolution and resilience.

beer glass

You can hear more New York City stories with Gesso’s self-guided New York audio walking tours, which you can experience at your own pace.

Erected in 1719, the Tavern stands as the city's oldest surviving building, offering a unique city guide to New York's past. It first rose to prominence during the Revolutionary War under the ownership of Samuel Fraunces. The Tavern's walls echo the discussions of rebellion by the Sons of Liberty and even the New York Tea Party's scheming.

The Tavern's significance extends beyond the revolution, having served as the offices for the Continental Congress post-war, and as the birthplace of the Sons of the Revolution. Fraunces himself has a dramatic history. During the British occupation, he was forced to flee to New Jersey, only to be captured and brought back to cook for the enemy within his own tavern. He played a significant role in unveiling General Benedict Arnold's treachery, proving that the Tavern was more than just a place for drinking and merriment.

Fraunces Tavern has survived fires, changing ownership, and numerous wars. Despite all this, it endures, standing as a testament to the city's tenacity, now marked as a New York City Landmark.

Many more New York City stories and tours await. Discover more local history with our New York audio walking tours, and see which nearby New York City neighborhoods you want to explore next!


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