Tongue Tavern, the birthplace of the Marine Corps, may be making a comeback in Philadelphia.

Tongue Tavern, the birthplace of the Marine Corps, may be making a comeback in Philadelphia.

National Park Service rangers in the historic area will be available to answer questions from visitors throughout the day. One of his most frequently asked questions is, “Where is Tun Tavern?”

In 1775, Tongue became the birthplace of what is now the United States Marine Corps, with a signature drive on the banks of the Delaware River at what is now Penn’s Landing. That same year, John Adams drafted a naval plan in an upstairs room. Tan also founded his four non-profit organizations in colonial Philadelphia that still exist today: the Freemasons (founded in 1731), the Society of St. Andrews (founded in 1747), the Society of St. George (also founded in 1747), and the Friendly Sons and Daughters of St. Patrick (founded 1771).

However, the tun was destroyed in 1781, so visitors are directed to a historical marker a few blocks away on Front Street near Sansom Walk. Tan’s original location is under the southbound lanes of Interstate 95 between Chestnut and Walnut streets.

The Tann Tavern Legacy Foundation, a group of influential Philadelphians who were members of the Marine Corps, the Freemasons, and other organizations associated with Tann, is re-creating the Tann as a tavern and restaurant and preserving its artifacts and documents. We would like to set up a museum to exhibit the following. screen.

Rob Brink, chairman of the foundation, said all profits from its operations will go toward supporting veterans’ causes, scholarships and other charities. He is Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Pennsylvania, which held its early meetings at Tann.

The foundation recently acquired two adjoining properties on Second Street between Market and Chestnut Streets in the Old City (a few blocks from the original site and currently occupied as a parking lot) for $4.4 million. I bought it. The foundation is currently trying to raise about $16 million for construction and startup, said board member Craig Mills, a Marine Corps veteran and senior shareholder at Center City law firm Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney. It is said that

“It’s a small building that only holds about 100 people, but something terrible happened there,” Mills said.

Organizers hope to open in time for the Marine Corps’ 250th anniversary on Nov. 10, 2025. It will probably be ready for America’s quasi-quincentenary in 2026, organizers admit.

Revolutionizing colonial dining

Philadelphia has few eateries that celebrate the entirety of Philadelphia’s history. Currently, the longest operating restaurant is McGillin’s, which he opened in 1860.

Built around 1759, A Man Full of Trouble Tavern is Philadelphia’s only pre-Revolution watering hole and is scheduled to reopen in early summer after extensive renovations. It was closed to the public for decades. Succession Fermentry, a Chester County-based farm brewery, will open a taproom, and tavern owner Dan Wheeler plans to operate the rest of the space as a museum.

The National Park Service is months away from announcing the new operator of City Tavern, a recreated historic bar in a circa-1976 building at Second and Walnut streets, a spokesperson said. . City Tavern closed in fall 2020 as the city’s tourism industry dried up during the pandemic.


The Tun Tavern Legacy Foundation has trademarked “The Tun” and plans to use it as its official name.

But 26 years ago, restaurateur Montgomery Dahm, a Marine Corps veteran, opened Tun Tavern, a restaurant and brewpub adjacent to the Atlantic City Convention Center that retains the “Tun Tavern” trademark. The National Museum of the Marine Corps near Quantico, Virginia also has a Tun Tavern for visitors.

Dahm told the Inquirer that he had spoken with both the foundation and another group that wanted to open a Tun Tavern and was open to negotiating its use.

“I’m a patriot and that’s what I want to do.” [the Tun] “I would lose a significant amount of revenue if the Marines went there instead of my store, but I also don’t want to lose the revenue of my current restaurant,” Dahm said. said, adding that he hosts fundraisers for Marine Corps-related charities. “Let’s see what happens in the end.”

History of Tun

In 1693, English traders Samuel and Joshua Carpenter built a tavern at Water Street and Tongue Alley on the banks of the Delaware River. Samuel sold it to Joshua, a brewer. At that time, the city was located on a cliff. Riverside taverns, warehouses, and docks were accessed by a series of stairs up to Front Street.

This tavern, which seats about 100 people, has changed names over the years, mainly according to the name of the owner. In the 1740s, it was held several nights a week under director Thomas Mullan, and the establishment was called Peg Mullan’s Beefsteak Club, named after his wife.

Pat Daly, president of the foundation, speculated that Peg Mullan may have been a good cook. Private “beefsteak clubs” were all the rage in London. “It’s a place where wealthy people come together and rent a restaurant and just devour beef and wine and things like that,” Daly said. Located less than a mile from Independence Hall, this facility became popular among the Continental Congress.

Daley, who co-owns Maido, a Japanese restaurant and grocery store in Ardmore, with his wife, Seiko, said the new Tun will be two restaurants in one. The tavern has a traditional period look, and the larger Peg Mullan’s Beefsteak Club resembles a maritime warehouse. (One problem is that no one knows exactly what the tun looked like. Artist Frank Taylor, whose popular 1922 painting probably shows up on every Google search , born 65 years after Tun was destroyed), the artifacts will be on display, Daly said. , there is no Marine Corps Museum on site. “One of them is in Quantico and it’s great,” he said. Other groups will have space within the museum.

Revival of Tun

Dailey said the project was conceived about 15 years ago outside Cookie’s Tavern in South Philadelphia. Every November 10th, owner James “Daddy Wags” Wagner, a Marine Corps veteran, throws a birthday party for the Corps, drawing hundreds of people and blocking Oregon Street. Cookie’s is now Tanki’s, but still hosts events.

“I was standing there in the rain eating birthday cake and drinking beer with hundreds of my closest friends and I thought, ‘This is crazy,'” Daley said. “Marines are irrationally proud of being the only military personnel who know the dates and locations of our departures. If you want to join the Continental Navy, you can go to Charleston, Boston, New York, or Philadelphia. The same goes for Washington’s army. But if you wanted to join the Continental Marines, Philadelphia was the only place to recruit.”

Daley spent time researching and drawing up a business plan. Nine years ago, he sent a proposal to the city’s Convention and Visitors Bureau asking about hosting a 250th anniversary party. The agency pointed out to him that the 250th anniversary of Homecoming, which commemorates the founding of the Marine Corps and Navy, will be held in 2025. The commission’s chairman, former New Jersey judge George Leone, and Brink of the Masonic Lodge, which will celebrate its 300th anniversary in 2031, signed the petition. on the board. Mr. Brink’s wife, Alison, joined as secretary.

Mills said there have been perhaps five attempts to revive the tun over the past 100 years, including a wooden mockup that was part of the 1926 centennial celebration.

“As a Marine, I can tell you that many of these things… [groups] The Marines sat down and said, “Yeah, let’s do this.” However, since they had no experience in construction, finance, or restaurant business, and did not have a lot of capital, they disappeared. With the support of Freemasons and others, this is different. ”

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