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Almost ‘ta da!’

McCaa’s Tavern project nearly complete

Posted: May 29, 2015 2:25 p.m.
Updated: June 1, 2015 1:00 a.m.
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One of two gathering/dining rooms. The rooms are simple but spacious and comfortable, with long tables, fire places, large windows and high ceilings.

The porch is welcoming, the bar is cozy, the dining rooms are simple but spacious and comfortable. All that is missing are the revelers it once hosted.

If all goes as planned, McCaa’s Tavern, located on the grounds of Historic Camden, will once again welcome guests, possibly as soon as this summer, according to Historic Camden Curator Joanna Craig.

"We are very close to opening," she said. "We’re going through the final stages of that process."

When the tavern opens its doors, it will become a living and interactive facet of American history. Current plans call for it to be available for tours during the day, but it will also be a gathering place for the community, with such events as tavern nights featuring live period music and 18th century food and beverages.

The tavern is equipped with a caterer’s kitchen, which means food will initially be prepared in restaurant grade kitchens elsewhere. The tavern will be available for rental for events, she said.

Taverns were an integral and important part of daily life in colonial times, Craig noted. People, both locals and travelers, would gather to hear the news and enjoy themselves. Traveling performers would come through – anything from musicians to live animal acts – but the people would also entertain themselves, she said.

McCaa’s Tavern features two rooms in the front of the building, the long room, which would generally be used for activities such as dances, and the wayfarer room. The rooms, simple but spacious and comfortable, have high ceilings and large tables. The rear of the building has a tap room with cage bar, which was typical of taverns of the times, Craig said.

Many of the interior features, including the bar, have been built from repurposed materials salvaged from other historic structures from around the area. The bar and several of the tables were made by local artisan Stephen Clyburn, Craig noted.

"We’re very excited," Craig said. "We hope to have our ‘ta da’ party very soon."

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