- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 14, 2006

ANNAPOLIS (AP) — A historical Maryland tavern that was a favorite haunt of George Washington in the 18th century and jazz guitarist Charlie Byrd in the 20th century is close to becoming home to a Starbucks Corp. coffee shop.

A decision Tuesday by the Annapolis Historic Preservation Commission to approve architectural plans for the store at the Maryland Inn means 21st-century visitors will be able to chat over coffee at a site where Washington, according to local lore, once lost a horse in a game of cards.

The commission approved the plans after it received assurances that the site’s history will be respected and that the shop will be wheelchair accessible.

“This is the last hoop for them to jump through,” said Jean Tullier, a spokeswoman for Remington Hotels, manager of the 18th-century-style inn. The proposed Starbucks is the final step in the renovation of the 44-room hotel.

The building, originally the King of France Tavern, was a haunt of American patriots and revolutionaries. Parts of it still have the original brick floor, stone walls and cooking fireplace.

In the 1970s, it was the site of a jazz club featuring nationally known artists such as Mr. Byrd and Dave Brubeck.

Ms. Tullier said Starbucks will work to preserve remnants of both histories, including 18th-century architectural features and artifacts and recordings from the jazz club’s heyday.

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