The exterior of Jessop's Tavern

photo by: Ron Cogswell/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

January 7, 2016

Jessop's Tavern in New Castle, Delaware

The building is nearly 350 years old. The bar itself? Well, it’s a bit younger. Regardless, Jessop’s Tavern in New Castle Delaware is the real deal.

114 Delaware Street has stood since 1674—more than 100 years before the Declaration of Independence was signed. It started out as a private residence before being converted into a barrel-making enterprise by Abraham Jessop in 1724. Eventually, the site reverted to a private residence, but by the 1950s it was the Captain’s Log Restaurant.

Jessop's Tavern interior

photo by: Ron Cogswell/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Jessop's Tavern opened in 1996, but the building it sits in was built more than 300 years ago.

When current owners, the Day family, took control in 1996 (OK, the bar is A LOT younger than the building), they decided to name their establishment after the former barrel maker.

But the historic experience at Jessop’s doesn’t end with the building. The food menu reflects the area’s European heritage, including Dutch cheeses, English pub fare, Swedish sauces, and old-school American dishes. Chefs strive for an authentic Colonial experience, both in preparation and presentation.

As for drinks, the tavern focuses on one of the most prominent categories of imported spirits during the Colonial era: Belgian beers.Today, they offer more than 350.

Location: 114 Delaware St., New Castle, DE 19720

Hours: Monday-Thursday, 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 11:30 a.m.-11:00 p.m.; Sunday, 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m.

You’re Having: The Shepherd’s Pie and one of the more than 350 Belgian beers on tap.

Can’t Get Enough? Jessop’s sells alcohol for take-out as well.

Best Yelp Review: Even the servers did a fabulous job. They weren’t in your face or trying to get you out quick, and they knew their stuff. They knew the beers the food and the wine. About time a restaurant sold food that was good and wholesome with top class beers and wines.—Lyndal C.

David Weible is the content specialist at the National Trust, previously with Preservation and Outside magazines. His interest in historic preservation was inspired by the ‘20s-era architecture, streetcar neighborhoods, and bars of his hometown of Cleveland.

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