Well, not really.
The City Tavern Restaurant, a Philadelphia icon, has been ordered by the National Park Service to shut down as a result of the squabble in our nation’s capital. This authentically recreated 18th century tavern was modeled after the original, which had been an important gathering place for many of our country’s founding fathers. Located within walking distance from the place where both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were debated and signed, men such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin were known to have socialized at the City Tavern after hours. No doubt this “watering hole” was a place where revolutionary ideas were floated and important alliances formed in order to help to win American Independence and form a new nation.
When the last federal shutdown occurred in 1996 the City Tavern Restaurant was allowed to stay open for business even though it leases its property and building from NPS/Dept. of Interior. The only difference between then and now is that President Obama and his team are in charge instead of Bill Clinton and his team, and so City Tavern has been ordered to close. Whether one sides with Democrats or Republicans, in the current dispute, or neither one, clearly, the City Tavern closure is on the Obama Administration and the Democrat leaders who support the President and who govern and control the district where the City Tavern lies.
Anybody familiar with this restaurant knows that it functions on a day to day basis without NPS personnel. It’s just ugly politics. And so, about 20 of City Tavern’s private- sector employees are out of work. Unlike the federal employees on furlough, they have no hope of getting “back pay” when the tavern reopens. The fact that City Tavern was allowed to operate during the 1996 federal shutdown is proof that the current shutdown cannot be blamed on the Republicans. Besides, President Obama has become famous for granting waivers. Why not now?
Post Script: We should all be putting pressure on Mayor Nutter, Senator Casey and Congressman Brady to help the patrons and employees of City Tavern. Also, don’t forget to support City Tavern when it reopens by making a lunch or dinner reservation. If you have never been to this fabulous restaurant for a meal before, rest assured; you are in for a really great experience. While you’re there, why not spend a day in Philadelphia’s historic district and enjoy all that this hallowed place has to offer. The legacy that our founders left behind has lately not been respected; let a visit to Philadelphia help to revive the Spirit of ’76 and ’87 in all of us!