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April 29, 2008

"Historic favorites" and new choices revolutionze menus at two CW taverns

Colonial Williamsburg’s guests will find a wide selection of tempting choices among the revised menus for two popular Historic Area taverns this year. Beginning May 6, Shields Tavern® introduces an expanded menu, along with full waiter service throughout the day. No reservations are required (except for large groups) to enable optimum walk-in convenience for guests during Shields’ new operating hours of 11:30 a.m. until 8:30 p.m.

“These changes reflect what our guests have told us they most wanted: the opportunity to enjoy a full meal in a tavern throughout the day, a wide choice of items, and freedom from having to make reservations,” said Bill Wandersee, Historic Area food and beverage director.

“We are excited to bring back several longtime Historic Area favorites to our menu, along with a new selection of items that we describe as ‘comfort food with revolutionary Southern flair,’” Wandersee said. The revamped Shields menu includes the return of popular fare such as Bubble and Squeak (cabbage and potatoes), Welsh Rarebit, buttermilk fried oysters with firecracker mayonnaise, and the Salmagundi (chef’s) Salad. “We’re confident our expanded entrée selection and new items will prove to be immediate classics,” Wandersee predicted.

Diners will find everything from seafood gumbo and herbed roast chicken to buffalo meatloaf and ale potted roast beef on the new menu, joining a selection of sandwiches ranging from a Virginia staple – pulled barbecue pork – to new entrees such as grilled vegetable wrap and catfish “BLT.” Dessert offerings are worth a tavern visit on their own, with a selection of signature ice cream flavors, peanut butter pie and spiced carrot cake among the tempting treats. Menu pricing offers salads starting at $6, sandwiches from $8.50, entrees beginning at $15 and desserts from $3.50.

Shields offers a full bar menu, with specialty drinks such as apple cider rum punch, champagne cocktails and spiced wine; beers and ales such as Yuengling Lager and St. George Nut Brown Ale, and favorites such as Chowning’s root beer, King’s Arms Tavern ginger ale and apple cider.

Entertainment at Shields will reflect Colonial Williamsburg’s popular Revolutionary City® program, with visits from people immersed in the day-to-day life of 18th-century Williamsburg – reflecting the vital role the Virginia colony played in the struggle to become a nation.

Chowning’s Tavern®, located near Market Square on Duke of Gloucester Street, is expanding its indoor service, adding a midday fare menu and again providing waiter service for inside tavern dining. The new menu features traditional favorites such as Brunswick stew and a Carolina-style barbecue sandwich along with hot and cold sandwiches, salads, sides, children’s menu and desserts. Meals are served on tavern ware by an attentive and gracious wait staff. Midday fare is served from 11:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. Chowning’s continues to provide walk-up service in the outdoor Garden Bar. Guests order at the counter and enjoy sandwiches and savory sides in a casual setting under the grape arbor, with sandwiches starting at $7.

Chowning’s (pronounced “chewnings”) Tavern offers gambols light fare nightly from 5 p.m. The menu includes pulled pork with coleslaw, barbecued rib bites, Welsh rarebit, ales, lagers, cider, rum drinks, desserts, music and colonial games of gambols in a family-friendly atmosphere. Beginning about 8 p.m., gambols takes on the rollicking atmosphere of an 18th-century ale house featuring beverages such as stout rum drinks, a variety of hearty ales and wine by the glass.

The King’s Arms Tavern® continues to serve lunch from 11:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. and dinner from 5 p.m. until closing. Breakfast with Citizens of the Revolution is offered seasonally Saturday and Sunday; with seatings at 8:45 and 9 a.m. King’s Arms recalls an 18th-century chop house and continues the tradition of fine dining, with such favorites as peanut soup and roast prime rib of beef. King’s Arms Tavern is located on the south side of Duke of Gloucester Street between Botetourt and Blair streets, near the Capitol.

Christiana Campbell’s Tavern® tempts guests with traditional seafood and serves dinner nightly starting at 5 p.m. Mrs. Campbell offers afternoon tea and savories on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 2 p.m. Campbell’s is located on the east side of Waller Street across from the Capitol. Reservations are recommended for dinner at both King’s Arms and Christiana Campbell’s taverns.

All Historic Area taverns also provide a fun children’s menu that includes familiar foods as well as modern interpretations of 18th-century delicacies like macaroni and cheese. The taverns are open to the public; free parking is available in the tavern parking lot on Francis Street and behind Campbell’s Tavern on Waller Street. For dinner reservations, call 757-229-2141 or 800 823-3767.

Established in 1926, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational institution that preserves and operates the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia as the nation’s largest living history museum. The Colonial Williamsburg Company, a subsidiary of the Foundation, operates a Resort Collection with more than 1,000 guest rooms among five hotels including the landmark Williamsburg Inn, four historic dining taverns and six restaurants, and 66,000 square feet of conference space centered at the Williamsburg Lodge, as well as a new 20,000-square-foot spa, and the Golden Horseshoe golf courses. Each purchase of Colonial Williamsburg products and services supports the Foundation’s preservation, research and educational programs.

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., off Interstate 64. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s Web site at or

Media Contact:
Barbara Brown
(757) 220-7280