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Amid health violations, historic Fraunces Tavern temporarily closed

The landmark has been at the corner of Pearl and Broad streets in the Financial District since 1762.
New York's historic Fraunces Tavern has been temporarily closed by the health department.
Fraunces Tavern, which has been open since 1762, was temporarily closed Tuesday following a health inspection. (Wikimedia)

Thanks to the seemingly endless wet weather we’ve been experiencing here in New York the past few weeks, one of the city’s oldest establishments has been forced to close temporarily by the health department.

According to its website, “Fraunces Tavern will be closed until further notice due to unforeseen structural issues. This is an unfortunate downside to being one of New York City’s oldest and most historic buildings. We thank our guests for your patience and understanding at this time, and appreciate your continued support.”

Fraunces Tavern, which has been located at the corner of Pearl and Broad streets in the Financial District since 1762, closed Tuesday following a health inspection that found “critical”safety violations, Crain’s reported.

Infringements included inadequate disposal of sewage, contaminated food and the presence of rats, mice and flies.

Owner Eddie Travers told Crain’s the recent spate of wet weather was the culprit, as the historic landmark is often plagued by pooling water in its basement after substantial rain.

“It was bad luck. In the past, inspectors have visited during dry periods,” he said. “The violations may look terrible, but if they went through your apartment, they'd find things.”

Travers said he hopes to have Fraunces Tavern reopened by dinnertime on Friday.

The tavern, which is also a musuem, was originally opened as the Queen’s Head Tavern by Samuel Fraunces in 1762. It was a headquarters for George Washington during the American Revolution and served, according to its website, John Adams “the most splendid dinner I ever saw.” Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton also once attended a meeting there in 1804.

“Please keep an eye on our website and social media for further updates,” Fraunces Tavern’s website urged regarding its reopening. 

 
 
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