Reynolds Tavern Sold: New Owners to Maintain Current Operations and Preserve Rich History

Annapolis, MD (April 10, 2024) – Reynolds Tavern, the iconic establishment nestled in the heart of Annapolis, announces its recent sale to Dave and Diane Rey, a dynamic couple with a passion for history. The Reys are set to succeed Andrew and Jill Petit as the stewards of this cherished landmark, committed to preserving its centuries-old charm and significance.

Originally constructed in 1747 by William Reynolds, a hatter and tavern-keeper, Reynolds Tavern is one of the oldest operational taverns in the nation, boasting visits from esteemed guests such as George Washington himself. Over the years, the tavern has undergone several transformations, including serving as the residence for the manager at the nearby Farmers National Bank in the 19th century to its fate teetering on the edge of demolition to make way for a gas station until the Anne Arundel County Public Library’s board of trustees intervened, purchasing it in 1936 for a mere $20,000.

Transforming from a public library to the headquarters of the burgeoning library system, Reynolds Tavern’s historic significance continued to evolve. After lying dormant for several years, developer Paul Pearson spearheaded an ambitious restoration project in the 1980s, meticulously restoring the tavern to its colonial-era grandeur.

Under the current operations of Wes and Marilyn Burge, who have leased the premises since 2003, Reynolds Tavern has flourished as a hub of hospitality and heritage. The couple will continue to lease and operate the building from the new proprietors, ensuring a seamless transition and the continued operation of Reynolds Tavern and 1747 Pub. The Burges expressed, “We share in the new owner’s excitement in purchasing Reynolds Tavern and appreciate their support and collaboration in our continued service to the community.”

Justin Mullen, John Gallagher and Cecil Cummins represented the Seller of the property, Reynolds Tavern, LLC while Dennis Murphy and Phil Hager represented the Buyers. Hyatt Commercial played a pivotal role in facilitating this historic sale, underscoring their commitment to preserving Annapolis’ rich heritage and ensuring the continued success of Reynolds Tavern for years to come.

Reynolds Tavern offers daily lunch and dinner menus, three period-appointed guest rooms, and an enchanting outdoor beer garden as well as the rustic 1747 cellar pub. It remains a cherished destination for locals and visitors alike. Its traditional English afternoon tea, introduced by the Petits during their tenure, has become a signature experience, inviting guests to step back in time and savor the ambiance of centuries past.

Diane Rey, the new co-owner, brings a deep passion for history as she is also involved in renovating a 100-year-old former summer house on the Delaware shore as a rental for family gatherings and group retreats. She also finds joy in reenacting Anne Catharine Green, Printer to the Province of Maryland, and publisher of The Maryland Gazette from 1767 to 1775.

As Reynolds Tavern enters this new chapter under the stewardship of Dave and Diane Rey, it remains steadfast in its mission to celebrate history, hospitality, and community. The tavern invites patrons old and new to join in the journey as it continues to weave its timeless tale of tradition and transformation. For more information visit

For more information or media inquiries please contact Gabrielle Titow at or directly at 410-260-6530.

Diane Rey, the new co-owner of Reynolds Tavern, portrays Annapolis colonial printer Anne Catharine Green, who ran the The Maryland Gazette when Reynolds Tavern was known as “The Beaver and Lac’d Hat.” Photo by Joshua McKerrow, Capital-Gazette.

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