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Washington’s Iconic Martin’s Tavern in Georgetown Toasts Its 90th Anniversary.

August 30, 2023
Washington, D.C. (August 29, 2023) – Martin’s Tavern in historic Georgetown, is the city’s oldest family-run restaurant. It was founded by great-grandfather William Solomon Martin, and grandfather, former Major League Baseball player, William Gloyd “Billy” Martin, and opened in 1933 as Prohibition ended. In September 2023, this landmark 98-seat tavern, with an additional 44 seats in the outdoor cafe and “streatery” celebrates its 90th anniversary with Billy Martin at the helm, the four-generation restaurateur in this family that is carrying on his ancestors’ hospitality traditions. This unique family-run establishment, situated on the prominent corner of Wisconsin and N St, N.W., has remained a favorite destination for influencers from politics, sports, media, and culture.
Diners can sit where John F. Kennedy proposed to Jacqueline Bouvier in 1953, in the
couple’s regular booth, which is aptly referred to as the Proposal Booth. It remains the
most requested spot in the tavern for popping the question. The restaurant helps celebrate
with a complimentary bottle of champagne for the newly engaged couple.
In addition to the Kennedys, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was also a regular.
Among her many conversations with owner Billy Martin, she confided that Martin’s Tavern was
an extension of her living room. Also, during the Gulf War, she stated that the restaurant’s
signature comfort food, such as the “hot brown” or “shepherd’s pie” was exactly what she
Every U.S. president, from Harry S. Truman to George W. Bush, has visited the restaurant to
discuss important matters or relax with colleagues, family, and friends. Members of Congress
have continuously been dining guests, and Martin’s Tavern was the meeting spot for Supreme
Court Justices following deliberations of the Brown v. Board of Education decision.
In addition to politicians, famous athletes have favored this welcoming spot to enjoy a generous
menu offering dishes that have been handed down through the four generations of the Martin
family while staying current with contemporary trends. The restaurant’s “Dugout Room” has
seen its fair share of baseball greats, including Mickey Mantle, Ty Cobb, and Yogi Berra.
Martin’s Tavern also honors Baseball Hall of Famer Walter Johnson, who was manager of
the Washington Senators. The Dugout displays sports memorabilia, and was created in honor of
founder Billy Martin, who was a shortstop and pitcher for the MLB’s Boston Miracle Braves of
Notable Washingtonians and international celebrities who have frequented Martin’s Tavern
include former Prime Minister of Ireland Enda Kenny, who served from 2011 to 2017, Caspar
Phillipson, who has portrayed JFK several times, Ryan Seacrest, Luke Russert, Chris Matthews,
Willard Scott, and Conan Obrien to name a few. Aside from its famous clientele, Martin’s
Tavern is known for its classic American fare. From its well-known crab cakes and locally
sourced steaks to its exceptional burgers, pot roasts, and more, there’s something for everyone.
Furthermore, in response to customer requests, Martin’s Tavern serves its brunch menu daily
until 4 p.m.
The restaurant also boasts an extensive list of wines, whiskeys, and craft cocktails while
providing locals and visitors alike with late-night options for a nightcap and a special late-night
menu. Despite the accolades, Martin’s Tavern has managed to stay humble. The restaurant has
always been family-owned. Most longtime regulars at Martin’s Tavern know the current owner,
Billy Martin, from his 18-year tenure behind the popular bar, before taking over the operations. It
was in 2001, that Billy and his wife Gina Martin became the fourth generation to own Martin’s
For the 90th anniversary, a private by-invitation party will take place in September. Because
of the intimate scale of Martin’s Tavern, Billy Martin is asking customers to share their
favorite memories of dining at the restaurant via email to by
September 5. The entries will be collected for a special digital scrapbook to be displayed at
Martin’s Tavern. Those who enter via email will be eligible to win an invitation to the
90th-anniversary reception and a $50 Martin’s gift card. Fifteen names from the entries
will be drawn randomly on September 7 when the winners will be announced and invited to
attend the celebration event.
From September 12, through the remainder of the year, Martin’s Tavern will feature three
90th-anniversary cocktails, which will be a proprietary reset of 1933 drinks with 2023
sensibilities. These libations will be available during brunch, lunch, and dinner service, and
include the following: French 75, Gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and Champagne, the French
75 dates to WWI, to Harry’s New York Bar invented by Harry McElhone. The combination was
said to have such a kick it felt like being shelled with the powerful French 75mm field gun,
Sidecar, Cognac, Cointreau, lemon juice, and sugar with an orange twist. The exact origin of the
Sidecar is unclear, but it is thought to have been invented around WWI in either London or Paris.
The drink was named directly for the motorcycle attachment and was a favorite during the
Prohibition Era. The Last Word, Gin, Green Chartreuse, Maraschino liqueur with lime juice and
garnished with a cherry, is a gin-based Prohibition Era cocktail originally developed at the
Detroit Athletic Club and the third special to celebrate the 90th anniversary. These special
cocktails at Martin’s Tavern are priced from $12 to $14, and 100 percent of the proceeds raised
from their sale will benefit the Georgetown Ministry Center,
Martin's Tavern is a community institution,” states Kelly Andreae, Executive Director,
Georgetown Ministry Center. “The Georgetown Ministry Center is honored to celebrate their
commitment to the Georgetown community.”
From October 2-5th , Martin’s Tavern is rolling back the prices on selected dishes to their
original prices from the restaurant’s 1933 menu. These specials will be offered exclusively
during lunch service. Choices include a Cup of Clam Chowder for $.20, and Sandwich
choices of Ham and Egg, Ham and Cheese, Bacon and Egg, or Corn Beef, all priced at
$.20.  Chicken Ala King will also be offered at $.85, and 3 Fried Oysters, Coleslaw and French
Fries for $.35.
About Martin’s Tavern
In an era of constant change, some things remain great, and Martin’s Tavern is rich in history.
The attentive service, authentic ambiance, and savory upscale American cuisine at Martin’s
Tavern have remained a Georgetown favorite for nearly a century. Serving brunch daily until 4
p.m., this locally owned family-run restaurant is the oldest in town and remains a long-standing
beloved landmark at 1264 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W. To reserve a table, call 202-333-7370 or