Reynolds Tavern

Reynolds Tavern, Annapolis, Maryland

Reynolds Tavern

One of the most well known places to dine in Annapolis is Reynolds Tavern. Located at 7 Church Circle, Reynolds Tavern offers a combination of fine dining, good drinks and a big bite of a historical building. Those who have had too many drinks have even met the local ghost.

The History

The property was bought in 1747 by William Reynolds for his hat business. He turned it into a tavern in 1757 and named it The Beaver and Lac’d Hat which operated until 1767. Williams wife passed away in the late 1750s and he remarried Mary Howell, who was a younger woman from a lower class and some said was his housekeeper. Mary made a wonderful barista, always keeping rooms clean, great quality beer and the freshest food. She treated her customers as old friends and was always well loved by them. Mary’s friendly personality seemed to attract many men who would come to the tavern to pursue her and try to get her to leave her husband. One of them reportedly was George Washington, who was chased out of the tavern, either by Mary or her husband depending on who is telling the story. When William died in 1777, he left the tavern to Mary. Mary ran it until her death in 1785. The tavern remained opened until 1788 when Margaret Reynolds, Mary and William’s daughter, lost the tavern due to debt. The tavern was used for multiple businesses afterwards including a library, a bank, and residential area. It was almost torn down for a gas station at one point. In the 1980s the property was purchased by Historic Inns of Annapolis and was restored as a tavern.

Mary’s Ghost
After Mary’s funeral, friends and family went back to the tavern and one family member fainted after going upstairs to one of the bedrooms. They claimed Mary was sitting on the bed smiling at them. People began seeing Mary around the tavern. They said she was still watching over her beloved business even in death. Strange occurrences were reported in the building every so often but once it was renovated and converted back to a tavern the activity increased. Staff have claimed to have silverware found piled in the middle of tables and water jugs or vases spilled. They believe Mary tries to make them redo tasks that she may have felt was done incorrectly. People who have cursed too much also seemed to get attacked by Mary. Employees that have stolen from the tavern have been busted by Mary as well. Once an employee tried to steal food and their bag mysteriously fell open, revealing the stolen food. She also likes to take cookbooks and cooking magazines. Employees have reported of finding recipe ingredients in strange places like she was trying to cook. Mary’s favorite thing to do is deal with people who have had too much to drink. She has been reported to spill drinks and food on them, shake their chairs or even go as far as to locking them in the bathroom until they decide to go home.

Reynolds Tavern was purchased in 2000 by Jill and Andrew Petit. Today it is now a restaurant, a bar and an inn. Mary is still there moving items around and around Christmas time they claim she is heard upstairs singing Christmas carols since it was her favorite time of year.


Carter, M. & Dray, J. (2012) Haunted Annapolis: Ghosts of the Capital City. Haunted America. Charleston, SC.

Knight, M. (2004). In An Annapolis Tavern, Hunting the Paranormal [Electronic Version]. The Baltimore Sun retrieved from

Reynolds Tavern (n.d.). Retrieved from

Wilson, J. (2012). Haunted Annapolis: Ghosts of the Capital City [Electronic Version]. WAMU 88.5 retrieved from