It’s close, about a mile and a half up the hill from the Inn. You can walk there in about 20 minutes and drive there in less than 5.
And it has great classic southern food served buffet style — fried chicken, barbecued pork, corn bread, collard greens, cole slaw, green beans with bacon (all goes well with bacon!), stewed tomatoes, peach and apple cobbler with ice cream, spiced cider, sweetened iced tea, and locally made beer. Too bad it’s not open for dinner, only early through late lunch.
Dining there is a warm and inviting experience, especially in the fall and winter, when the Tavern’s wood-burning fireplaces are roaring, and the oak logs are spitting and crackling.
We are also fascinated by Michie Tavern’s history. Between 1778 and 1784, William Michie, who fought in the American Revolution, and spent the winter at Valley Forge with fellow Virginian George Washington, built the 2-story tavern in the Earlysville area, near what is now the Charlottesville airport. Michie was prominent in his community, and the Tavern soon became a popular place for locals and travelers to meet, eat, drink, spend the night, and discuss important topics of the day.
After Michie died, his family took over the property and began using it as their private home. In 1927, Mrs. Mark Henderson, a businesswoman/entrepreneur, purchased the property for her antique shop and museum.
Shortly after that, the Thomas Jefferson Foundation formed and announced it would be opening Monticello for visitors, so Mrs. Henderson, intrigued by the prospect of large crowds of people going there, decided to pick up and move Michie Tavern close to Jefferson’s home.
In the nearly 100 years since its relocation, Michie Tavern has expanded, additional old wooden buildings have been moved there and reconstructed, and the original building has been restored. In the early 1960’s, Joseph Conte bought the property, and turned it back into a tavern/restaurant. It is now operated by Mr. Conte’s family.
Our neighbor, Michie Tavern, is an historic treasure, a great place to enjoy lunch and venture back into America’s past.