The second bar we visited in a single day was Jessop’s Tavern. We found it tucked in the historic section of New Castle, Delaware. A life size statue of William Penn graces a local park since it is here that William Penn first landed in the new world in 1682! The stone buildings and red brick sidewalks made New Castle a strikingly pretty place to spend the afternoon. With our friends and family along we first strolled the waterfront, read historic markers, toured old buildings, and visited antique and gift shops. We eventually decided we were ready for another beer. Known for its wide selection of Belgian beers, we looked forward to seeing what was on tap at the oldest bar in Delaware.
Jessop’s Tavern was built as a private residence in 1674 and later purchased by a cooper smith (barrel-maker) named Abraham Jessop in 1724. One source credits the established date of the bar as 1724 while another source states that it was a private home in until the late 1940’s or early 1950’s. Jessop Tavern’s dark green shutters, embellishing the multi paned windows and vintage tavern sign made it look like it came straight out of a beautiful old painting. The quaint décor carried through to the interior with a stained glass lighted bar-back highlighted the nicely decorated period room. Accented with old muskets and colonial scenery pictures on the walls, it was easy to imagine sitting down and enjoying a beer in these rooms 274 years ago. The servers all dressed in old world clothing which added to its historic charm. Jessop’s is known for its wide selection of Belgian beers, and our party felt compelled to sample several of the recommendations made by our server Darien. We were still fairly full from lunch at the Barnsboro Inn so we made due with some delicious snacks and desserts. I loved their fruit, cheese and nut plate almost as much as their Jessop’s Brambleberry Ale! Bruce was almost brought to tears by the tastiness of their traditional butter tart. We all left Jessop’s feeling closer to our countries’ beginning days.