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After spending the morning at Independence Hall, we were looking for a place to eat lunch in Philadelphia. One of the tour guides recommended a place called City Tavern, so we headed over for a meal... and absolutely loved the place.

We found out that City Tavern had an incredible history - it was built in 1773, and became a social center for the city. In May of 1774, Paul Revere arrived at City Tavern to announce the British Parliament's closing of Port Boston. Later that year, the tavern became a meeting place for delegates to the Continental Congress, including George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and other notables. The first July 4th celebration was held at City Tavern in 1777, a year after the country declared its independence. It continued to serve Philadelphia until 1834, when the roof caught fire and burned much of the structure; the remaining building was razed twenty years later in 1854. Almost a hundred years later, Congress authorized the restoration of several sites of significant national importance, including the site of City Tavern. In 1975 a study was done of the original tavern, including images from the period, written accounts, and insurance surveys. City Tavern was rebuilt in its original image and was re-opened in 1976 in time for the country's bicentennial celebration.

We loved our meal there - I had the Beef Medallions, and my wife had the Chicken Maderia, both dishes served by waitstaff in period clothing. The Tavern also had handcrafted beers, so we enjoyed the General Washington Tavern Porter, and the Poor Richardís Spruce Beer. It was an incredible dining experience.

When looking for ghost stories there, you don't have to look far beyond the 1854 fire. It claimed not only City Tavern, but also members of a wedding party who were celebrating their nuptials there. The bridal party had taken over the upstairs and at that time, light was provided by candles. The groom's party was downstairs awaiting the ladies. As the women got ready, a lamp or candle tipped over and the room was instantly engulfed in flames. The bride's dress caught fire, and she and several of her attendants perished in the fire.

After the restaurant was re-opened in 1976, it continued to be a location for wedding parties, who started to notice in their photos that there was a strange woman who appeared to be wearing a bridal gown. Other patrons and staff have seen a woman in a bridal gown in the halls and rooms of the building that should have been empty. Perhaps the bride who died there in 1854 is still lingering at City Tavern, hoping to celebrate her wedding.

No matter what the case with the haunting, City Tavern is must-stop when you're in Philadelphia! The food, service, and experience is incredible... and you might even see a ghostly bride while you're there!


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