The three buildings that comprise The Tavern have been part of the State College landscape since 1890. The oldest part of The Tavern, the white house along College Avenue, opened in 1890 as a boarding house. Stables were added behind the house in the early 1900s, where the red building stands today.
In 1920 the Harvey brothers opened a bakery onsite; their original hearth remains where fireside dining is located today. The third part of the building, along Calder Ave., started as an ice cream store. The buildings have also housed an ice plant, a beer distributor and an automobile garage over their colorful history before becoming The Tavern Restaurant in 1948.
In 1948 John “Jace” O’Connor and Ralph Yeager, two World War II veterans studying at Penn State on the GI Bill, opened The Tavern Restaurant. Pat Daugherty and Bill Tucker purchased the restaurant from O’Connor and Yeager in 1980 and added the Adam’s Apple bar in 1982. Daugherty maintained the historical appearance and original Tavern with antiques, pine paneling, flagstone floors and various types of lithographs, photographs, and paintings. Some of these pieces of artwork showcased early scenes of Penn State Campus, Penn State Athletes and State College and will again grace the walls of the restaurant when it reopens.