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March 22, 2010

Historic Area taverns welcome guests from near and far

A visit to Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area is not complete without the sumptuous food and friendly atmosphere of an authentic colonial tavern. In the 18th century, tavern keepers offered gracious hospitality to weary travelers and townsfolk alike and so it is today, with all taverns operating a full schedule March 25.

Tavern visitors enjoy menu favorites inspired by recipes from the past while enjoying interludes from balladeers or strolling musicians, visits from character interpreters and rollicking games.

Chowning’s Tavern: Located near Market Square at 109 E. Duke of Gloucester St., Chowning’s is open daily for lunch from 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. and beginning at 5 p.m. nightly, the tavern offers Gambols, evening fare and lively music, 18th-century games and singing. Reservations are not required.

Christiana Campbell’s Tavern: Open for dinner from 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday night. The tavern serves favorites from the Chesapeake Bay area and was a favorite of President George Washington is located at 101 S. Waller St. across from the Capitol.

King’s Arms Tavern: Open Thursday through Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for lunch and from 5 p.m. for dinner, King’s Arms Tavern is located at 416. E. Duke of Gloucester St. Proprietress Jane Vobe served the gentry in the 18th century, and today King’s Arms continues the tradition of fine tavern dining, including outdoor dining on the terrace for lunch.

Shields Tavern: Located at 422 E. Duke of Gloucester St. near the Capitol, Shields serves Southern favorites and is open Tuesday through Saturday for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and for dinner from 5 p.m.

Raleigh Tavern Bakery: Located at 410 E. Duke of Gloucester St. and open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Raleigh Tavern Bakery is the perfect spot for baked treats, soups, sandwiches and hot or cold beverages for guests on the go. Casual seating is available in the courtyard and rear garden. Souvenir mugs are available for sale and refill.

Tavern Ghost Walks: Offered nightly except Wednesdays and Thursdays, Tavern Ghost Walks depart from Shields Tavern at 7 and 8:30 p.m. or by appointment for groups and are suitable for all ages. This family friendly one-hour walking tour introduces guests to the ghosts legend says haunt the taverns and buildings of Colonial Williamsburg. Tickets can be purchased at Colonial Williamsburg ticket outlets. $12 for adults and $7 for children under 12.

Tavern menus can be found at All taverns except the Raleigh Tavern Bakery operate a full bar. Reservations are required for dinner. Call 757-229-2141. Parking is available in the parking lot behind Campbell’s or the tavern lot on Francis Street. Children are welcome in all Historic Area taverns, which offer children’s menus.

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational institution and cultural destination dedicated to the preservation, restoration, interpretation and presentation of the 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia as the nation’s largest living history museum. Colonial Williamsburg offers more than 1,000 guest rooms among five hotels, including the landmark Williamsburg Inn, four historic dining taverns and six restaurants, a full-service 20,000-square-foot spa, the Golden Horseshoe golf courses and 66,000 square feet of conference space centered at the restored Williamsburg Lodge.

Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s Web site at Purchase of Colonial Williamsburg products and services supports the Foundation’s preservation, research and educational programs.

Media Contact:
Barbara Brown
(757) 220-7280