This bar, opened in 1762, is where General Washington announced his resignation and toasted his officers. Can it still draw revolutionaries?
This bar is situated on the spot where, in 1762, the West Indian freeman and innkeeper Samuel Fraunces began pouring beer and wine for the thirsty merchants of lower Manhattan; where the Sons of Liberty plotted the lesser-known New York Tea Party; where a cannonball from a British ship, sent to put down the rebellion, crashed through the roof; and where, in June of 1776, insurrectionists gathered for the New York Provincial Congress and drained bottles of Madeira as one of them blew his fife and another played drumsticks. (They broke sixteen glasses and a pudding dish.) It’s also where General Washington announced his resignation, toasted his officers, and, crying, shook all their hands. One evening, years later, Washington sent back a three-dollar shad, offered to him on the house, because “it shall never be said that the President indulges in luxuries.” On a much more recent evening, a gray-haired patron walked past the L.E.D. candles by the entrance, through the whiskey lounge, with its extensive Scotch collection and coveted leather chairs, and into one of the tavern’s noisy barrooms, where he ordered a seltzer.