Enjoy the New Pub and Experience 18th Century Life
It’s been 5 months in the making with an investment of $300,000, but it’s finally ready. Michie Tavern has converted the oldest section of the Tavern, one that provided tours for 90 years, into an 18th century pub.
Now, visitors can still tour the Tavern but they can also experience tavern life as it was 300 years ago.
“Today, people want to have experiences,” Executive Director, Greg MacDonald explains. “They are not as thrilled to see things and hear about things. They want to experience things.”
The Michie Tavern Renovation Provides History and Experiences
Responding to the public’s changing desire for more involvement, the Tavern created the 1784 Pub.
The original tavern was opened in 1784 by Cpl. William Michie and located near Earlysville. In 1927, it was moved to its current site which was near Monticello and functioned as a tourist draw.
In 1969, Michie Tavern added a restaurant, a former mill, and other period buildings. But those additions meant less foot traffic to the original two-story tavern. Finally, it was decided to make some changes.
“We wanted people to actually enjoy the tavern and be in the tavern,” MacDonald said. “As demand to tour historic properties declines, we feel like a way to bring it to life is to turn it into more of an experience.”
And that was no small task. The original bar was a closet-sized room with only one serving window facing the dining room. There was also a small door that slaves owned by the Tavern could restock the bar.
“It almost looks like a bar surrounded by a cage. But in the 18th century, everything had to stay locked up.”
It’s an extraordinary opportunity to experience the sights and sounds of what an 18th century traveler might have been looking for with refreshment and food. That also means a trip to The Ordinary where you can enjoy delicious southern lunch recipes.
In the evening, head over to the 1784 Pub and relax! The Pub serves appetizers and beverages.
“So far, customers have said that they’ve never been in this part of the tavern before, and that they’re glad they got the experience,” MacDonald said.
Touch History and Enjoy Colonial Life
Now when you tour Michie Tavern, visitors are encouraged to touch the history that happened at the Tavern. Full of period antiques, visitors are immersed in the surroundings of life long ago.
Learn about tavern life but also learn about the evolution of Virginia’s wine, cider, and beer industries.
And tourists can play 18th century games of chance while enjoying wine, beer, and cider crafted in the area. The whole idea is to have fun while visiting the Tavern.
“That’s what it’s all about,” MacDonald said. “Having fun when you visit Michie Tavern.”
The 1784 Pub is open Wednesday-Sunday, 12:00 p.m.-7 p.m. We encourage all guests of the Iris Inn to visit historic Michie Tavern in Charlottesville. It’s less than a 30-minute drive and you’ll get to enjoy the splendid views of the Blue Ridge Mountains! Book here.