Pete’s Tavern in Manhattan’s Gramercy Park Historical District has many claims to fame. The historic watering hole identifies itself as not only the oldest continuously operating bar in New York City but the oldest in the whole nation. It is also where noted author O. Henry is said to have written his famous tale, “The Gift of the Magi.” This summer, you can join Untapped New York Insiders to unravel all of the fascinating stories of Pete’s Tavern when we go inside the speakeasy room for a happy hour and tour on August 8th!

Pete's Tavern
Courtesy of Pete’s Tavern

Tour & Happy Hour at Pete’s Tavern

Pete's Tavern

This tour and drink-tasting experience is $15 for Untapped New York Insiders! Not an Insider yet? Become a member today and get your first month free with code JOINUS.

The building that houses Pete’s Tavern was constructed in 1851 and originally served as the Portman Hotel with a “grocery and grog store” on the main floor. A bar first opened at the site in 1864. There were various owners and names of the establishment in the early 20th century, but it became Pete’s in 1922 when it was sold to Peter D’Belles.

During Prohibition, the tavern had to operate inconspicuously. Throughout the 1920s, the bar transformed into a florist, with floral displays blooming in the windows and signs advertising the shop. However, those who wanted to get a drink and do business could stealthily go in the side entrance, through a fake refrigerator door, and into the bar.

Pete's Tavern
Pete’s Tavern as a florist shop. Image Courtesy of Pete’s Tavern

The tavern boasts many of its original architectural features including tin ceilings, tile floors, and the grandiose forty-foot rosewood bar. You can even sit at the same booth where O. Henry wrote his popular 1903 Christmas story. Henry was a regular at Pete’s since he live right down the street. On our upcoming Insiders tour, guests will get to admire these features while hearing all about the tavern’s storied history. Insiders will also get to enjoy a drink of beer or wine inside the second-floor speakeasy room which features a grand skylight and balcony that overlooks 18th Street.

Pete's Tavern
Image Courtesy of Pete’s Tavern

Today, Pete’s Tavern continues to serve new generations of hungry and thirsty New Yorkers inside the original historic location. Join us this summer as we raise a glass to the history of Pete’s!

Next, check out The 10 Oldest Bars in NYC