Annapolis was once known as the Athens of America. It was a bustling hub of culture and excitement. That is, once it was established as Annapolis. Before that it was called Anne Arundel named from Princess Anne in 1694, the heir apparent to the British throne at the time. Once the city was won in the Revolutionary War, it was dubbed Annapolis and turned into a cultural power house and a seat of political power. The intellectual stimulation you could find in Annapolis was unmatched in other areas in and around Maryland, and for this reason several famous pubs grew in prominence as the place to be. Originally named for the Tudor reigning symbol the Rose & Crown pub was built in 1774 and was the place to be if you wanted information about the current political climate in Washington’s rudimentary cabinet, or needed to know about the political options overseas. The banquet hall that stands today is a historical landmark as old and as valuable at the Maryland State House itself.

Annapolis’ European Influence

The Royal Governor, Sir Francis Nicholson moved the capital of Maryland to Annapolis and in 1708, Queen Anne chartered her namesake in the colonies as a city. In fact, the flag still bears her royal badge with a crown hovering over the Tudor rose and Scotland’s tangled thistle. Sir Francis’ powerful love for his queen didn’t end there as he fully intended for Anne to eventually visit her namesake city in the future. He set out creating a city that was worthy of a queen of England, which is why the streets are constructed strangely in regard to other American cities. He constructed a baroque styled street plan that was similar to the magnificent capitals of Europe. His street plan looks closer to art much in the same fashion that the streets of Europe circle and put emphasis on the various buildings and points of interest he deemed to be of the most importance in the city plan. His radiating street plan that looks much like ripples in a lake center around the Episcopal Church in the center, St. Anne’s which was a church of England at the time and was thus supported by the taxpayers. George Washington visited Annapolis on a regular basis and admired the street’s layout so much that he instructed Pierre L’Enfant to incorporate a similar street plan in the nation’s capital.  

Gaining Notice

George Washington wasn’t the only individual who found that Annapolis was and is a unique city that holds a certain attraction. As Maryland held a significant seat as one of the original 13 colonies, Annapolis being it’s capitol found itself to be the seat of intrigue as well as rich commerce. A thriving shipping industry quickly took hold and brought a thriving economy to Annapolis’ doorstep. The prosperous merchants and planters in England and other European countries took interest and built their new homes as towering mansions to rival their European properties from home. They single handedly brought the influence of European style and wealth to the colonies. They brought the style of ballrooms and formal gardens to the states and were soon emulated all over. Annapolis actually still hosts more of the 18th century buildings than anywhere else in the U.S. Homes that entertained various founding fathers still stand and are open to the public so that you can explore them and enjoy the architectural techniques used in their construction.

Horse Races, Bawdy Houses and The Arts

When men of great import, such as the founding fathers and other figures that mainly lingered in the background of the Revolutionary War, weren’t parading around as figures of government or seeding the thoughts of a rebellious nation among their fellow citizens in court roms and in town hall sessions, they were spreading their political beliefs at one of the many Annapolis entertainment attractions. As a thoroughly modern city with a host of European influences, Annapolis offered the best of American entertainments and European entertainments all within one beautifully designed city. The horse racing track was new then and a favorite of the landed gentry that populated the Annapolis port. The other thing they brought was European styled pubs to the forefront of the entertainment selection. Enter the Rose & Crown pub.

Famous and Original

The Rose & Crown was the local gathering spot for both royalists and revolutionaries and was regarded as a place of great import. It wasn’t the only watering hole in town but it was the most important one. With port side communication, it was the quickest place to spread information and ideas and actions spread quickly through this centerpiece tavern that rested on the historic 113 Main street. Today, you can still come and enjoy a taste of the sheer historical relevance of the place. It’s no longer called the Rose & Crown, but it’s Tudor-themed origins are never far from mind as it looks like a 1700s banquet hall still. If you’re looking for a way to set your next event apart, host your banquet at the most individualistic spot in town: O’Brien’s Oyster Bar & Seafood Tavern. You’re sure to thoroughly enjoy the amazing food alongside the undeniably rich atmosphere that’s as thick with history as it with thick with Annapolis personality. Contact us to find out more about our banquet specials and to organize your event now. We’re eager to add your event to the list of events that have occurred in this building for the last 300 years.