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Fraunces Tavern Restaurant Aims for Thanksgiving Reopening

By Julie Shapiro | November 11, 2010 10:08am
The Fraunces Tavern Restaurant is located in a landmarked building at 54 Pearl St.
The Fraunces Tavern Restaurant is located in a landmarked building at 54 Pearl St.
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By Julie Shapiro

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

FINANCIAL DISTRICT — The colonial tavern that hosted George Washington in 1783 will likely reopen to the public on Thanksgiving after an eight-month renovation.

The Fraunces Tavern Restaurant has operated on and off since 1760s in a landmarked building at 54 Pearl St., which now houses a revolutionary history museum on its upper floors.

The restaurant most recently closed its doors in February, when the previous managers struggled to turn a profit.

In April, the Sons of the Revolution in the State of New York, which owns the building, brought in the Dublin-based Porterhouse Group to revamp the tavern.

Porterhouse plans to do a soft opening without reservations on Thanksgiving, and then will finish construction over the next week and hopefully open for good on Dec. 1, a Porterhouse representative said in an e-mail.

Porterhouse has not released details of the new menu or décor, but the goal is to "pay homage to the history of the location while serving today’s public tastes," said Anthony Wellman, spokesman for the Sons of the Revolution.

"There is still a great deal of construction, restoration and renovation going on, so it will be very exciting when they open again," Wellman said in an e-mail this week.

Porterhouse runs restaurants and bars in Ireland but this will be the company's first US location.

Fraunces Tavern is best known as the location of General Washington’s emotional farewell speech to his troops on Dec. 4, 1783. The original proprietor, Samuel Fraunces, also used the tavern to host secret Sons of Liberty meetings and to help American prisoners during the Revolutionary War.