The King’s Arms was a common tavern name in England and the colonies. By the 1770s, Parliament was out of favor with some colonists, but most Virginians remained loyal to the king. The tavern’s name shifted with the political climate. Known as “Mrs. Vobe’s” during the Revolution, it later became the Eagle Tavern.
The King’s Arms and other Williamsburg taverns served as a local gathering place where customers met to discuss business, politics, news, and gossip over drinks and meals. The King’s Arms tavern was reputed to be “where all the best people resorted.”
Artifacts found on the site and sketches of the tavern drawn on late 18th-century insurance policies assisted in the reconstruction of the tavern and the adjoining Purdie House to the east, which contains some of the dining rooms.
Reproduction tables, chairs, and serving pieces represent a deliberate mix of furniture styles popular with the Virginia gentry. The royal cost of arms on the dinnerware was fashionable in the colonies before the Revolution. Other accessories – the pewter candlesticks with glasses, pewter sugar and salt dishes, brass sconces, and maps and framed prints – correspond to items listed in the inventories of taverns patronized by affluent customers.
Guests will be served by wait staff dressed in colonial attire and will enjoy the music of the strolling balladeers.