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Little Taverns (page 1)

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The Little Tavern hamburger chain was established by Harry F. Duncan in Louisville, KY in 1927. He opened five locations there in the first year. In 1928, Duncan moved to Washington, DC and opened the first of many locations there. By the 1940s, there were almost 50 Little Tavern Shops throughout the D.C./Baltimore area. In 1972, 42 were still in operation. However, by 1991, there were only 20 left. The remaining location closed in 2009. Several buildings still exist and have been repurposed. Unfortunately, most of the best examples have been demolished in recent years. None of these survivors retain the chain's "Buy 'Em By the Bag" signs. This slogan was obviously inspired by White Castle's "Buy 'Em By the Sack" which I believe originated in the 1920s. The first few Little Tavern buildings bore a strong resemblance to those of White Castle. However, by 1928, Little Tavern switched from the mini castle look to its Tudor cottage design. These prefabricated buildings were faced with porcleain enamel tiles. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2.

Little Tavern [gone]
Baltimore, MD
This Little Tavern location had been up for sale for several years. Most of its interior had already been gutted. It was demolished along with the Grand Theatre in 2003. I believe this one was built in 1931 as the fifth location in Baltimore.

former Little Tavern
Baltimore, MD
2003: 2010:
This Little Tavern building now houses Pizza Deal. By 2010, the building had been repainted. [map]

Stone Tavern
Baltimore, MD
former Little Tavern
Baltimore, MD
The Stone Tavern may have been a Little Tavern originally. It's possible that the building was built in the 1930s and the stone was added later. [map]

This former Little Tavern shown above right served as a pub for the adjoining Lighthouse Restaurant when the photo at the left was taken in 2003. By 2010 (right photo), the building was occupied by the Park Avenue Grill. Later that year, it became Tony's Diner. [map]

former Little Tavern [gone]
Baltimore, MD
This former Little Tavern building was being used by a church group in 2003 when these photos were taken. By 2010, the building was gone.

Little Tavern [gone]
Baltimore, MD
Little Tavern [gone]
Baltimore, MD
This Little Tavern shown above left was the last operating location. It opened in 1983 and closed in 2008. It is believed that this building was used by another business before Little Tavern moved in. The building now houses a used car dealership. The Little Tavern awnings were removed.

This Little Tavern shown above right was still fairly intact in 2004 when this photo was taken. There were still the original stools and green signs inside. I assume this Little Tavern never had a peaked roof and was designed to fit in this downtown storefront location. By 2010, the ground floor was occupied by the Corned Beef Factory. The fašade was gone and the interior was remodeled. As of 2014, the building houses a Subway.

former Little Tavern
Baltimore, MD
2003: 2010:
This former Little Tavern location housed a Kennedy Fried Chicken for many years. By 2010, the building was occupied by the Sea Blue restaurant. By 2014, the building housed a HipHop Fish & Chicken restaurant. The Little Tavern roof and fašade remain fairly intact. This location still has the White Castle style brickwork on the right side. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. [map]

former Little Tavern
Laurel, MD

2003:

2007: 2010:
This former Little Tavern was still a fully-functioning and fairly intact example of the chain in 2003. In 2006, the place closed and was put up for sale. In 2007, the interior was gutted and the building was converted into Laurel Tavern Donuts. The signs were saved and are in a private collection. [map]

Little Taverns
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