Any true Annapolitan knew about the “secret” Starbucks tucked away near the Maryland Inn at the top of Main Street. It’s also known that the “secret” Starbucks recently emerged from the shadows to occupy a new larger location now prominently situated at the foot of Main Street. However, there’s now a new reason to visit the Maryland Inn for a quick libation. The historical basement-dwelling near where Starbucks used to be is the Drummer’s Lot Pub. As part of the historic Maryland Inn, the pub brings a bit of English-style atmosphere to the top of Church Circle. The Drummer’s Lot Pub serves typical American fare, perfect for those looking to enjoy a burger and a beer with friends. This historic tavern has clearly taken many iterations throughout its existence. Let’s take a quick trip back in time to the early days of the everpresent Maryland Inn taverns.
Back in 1784, a tavern was opened while Annapolis served as the capital of the United States. During this time the tavern was known as The King of France Tavern and hosted many important statesmen and businessmen within the brick walls. The King of France name was a nod to French ally and leader King Louis XVI – similar to the other restaurant that calls the Maryland Inn home, the Treaty of Paris.
And what’s good history without a little bit of secrecy? Rumor has it there is a tunnel that leads from the tavern’s wine cellar directly to the State House. This was supposedly an escape route for the higher-ups of our newly formed nation, intentionally created in case Annapolis came under attack.
Now the name of the tavern, The Drummer’s Lot Pub carries a direct connection to town history as well. Named for William Butterfield and his drum that would echo throughout Annapolis during the 1750s. His use of a drum was an interpretation of a town crier. Each distinct drum beat means something different: one for the time, one for signaling a legislative session, and just about anything else in regard to public information.
This iconic tavern continues with the reputation of a watering hole for lawmakers, travelers, and locals alike. Stop by for the impressive history, but stick around for the good food and great company.