Georgetown – Though it is older than the City of Washington, the storefronts of this Potomac River facing town seem to have been updated to what now looks like the village version of NYC’s Fifth Avenue. In between the brand labeled facades, Martin’s Tavern is easy to spot for its corner location and Irish pub exterior. Having arrived late into the night, shopping wasn’t on our agenda, but dinner was.
Choosing Martin’s Tavern wasn’t left to chance. I had read of it being one of the few establishments still standing since the Great Depression; opened by an Irish family with roots stretching back to the 1800’s in this former blue collar labourer’s port. Perhaps more renowned for its associations with serving monumental figures such as Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson and even Richard Nixon*, also knowing that this was the on-bended-knee location of JFK had intrigued enough to make a reservation.
“Richard Nixon dined at Martin’s Tavern throughout the 1940’s and 1950’s while serving as a Representative, Senator, and Vice President. He enjoyed Martin’s Meatloaf and most often dined with his wife Pat or congressional colleagues.”
Though we cannot vouch for the Meatloaf, the seared tuna, and hamburger-with-the-lot were healthy servings of good pub fare.
Now, about that booth:
JFK and Jackie frequently dined in Booth 3 at Martin’s Tavern. Having returned from covering the coronation of Queen Elizabeth for the Washington Times Herald, Jacqueline Bouvier accepted John’s proposal. The next day the Tavern was abuzz with staff and guests talking about the “nice young Kennedy congressman” proposing to his girlfriend in their favourite Booth. It has been known as “The Proposal Booth” since that day.
That’s how this history reads on the one-sheeter distributed at each table anyway. Cheers!