The Tabard Inn is the oldest continuing running hotel in Washington DC opening its doors in 1922 by Marie Willoughby Rogers. The name Tabard Inn was drawn from Chaucer’s Canterbury tales and the place would forever revive itself in the hospitality of an old English Manor.
The Inn’s early years were of social gatherings and afternoon tea, and the additions of the adjacent townhomes of 1741 and 1737 N St in the late 20s and early 30s completed what today is the entire property of the Tabard Inn. During World War II, the Inn became a boarding house for the Waves, (Navy Women Accepted to Emergency Services).
In 1975 the Hotel was put up for auction by Ms Rogers family. Edward Cohen, a financial editor with the Washington Post, and his wife, Fritzi, a political activist & lawyer, became the Tabard’s new owners. The Cohen’s had no experience except for a vision which was to preserve the buildings and business, no TVs in the rooms, and in the kitchen everything made from scratch, ingredients sourced from local farmers and most importantly no microwaves to heat the food. At the time, their vision was new and unheard of contrasting with what the hotel and restaurant industries paradigm for profitability was. Those looking for a unique experience, something beyond the standard fair that the chain hotels may have offered began to discover the Tabard.