Old Talbott Tavern

Visit Us

  • 107 W. Stephen Foster Ave
    Bardstown, KY

  • 502.348.3494

  • talbotttavern@bardstown.com

Hours of Operation

Monday-Thursday: 11 AM – 8 PM
Friday-Saturday: 11 AM – 9 PM
Bar: 4 PM – 1 AM
Sunday: 11 AM – 7 PM

The Old Talbott was built in 1779 and has been called the oldest western stagecoach stop in America. It was a haven of hospitality to those sturdy pioneers who carved an empire out of the threatening wilderness. From its simple, rough beginnings the tavern mellowed with the years, typifying the gracious living than burgeoned in the Old South.

The Tavern is located at the crossroads of the young west, where the Post roads, North, East, South, and West met, caused every stagecoach to stop at its door. Here the grateful passenger found cheer and warmth, while horses were changed for the long trip ahead.

Through the welcoming portals of the Old Tavern, there passed a long procession of statesmen, solders, adventures, artist, and rulers. Andrew Jackson knew of the warmth of the hearth fire in the central room. There, Henry Harrison found cheer in its friendly atmosphere. General George Rodgers Clark used the tavern as a base; provisions and munitions were brought overland from Virginia and stored in the cellars of the tavern.

Legends say that during King Louis Phillippe’s exile, he, his two brothers, and other members, desiring to see the New World, arrived at Tavern on October 17, 1797. During their stay, one or more of the entourage is belied to have painted the murals which were uncovered in 1927. A dozen or more holes are found in the plaster in the room. Legend tells us that the bullet holes were left behind by Jesse James. Related to Donnie Pence, sheriff of the Nelson County, It’s reported that he had too many drinks in the Pub one evening then went upstairs to sleep it off. He “saw” birds moving in the murals and shot at them, leaving behind the bullet holes we see today.

Stephen Collins Foster, during his visit to judge John Rowan at “Federal Hill” now my Old Kentucky Home, knew the charms of the inn. Abraham Lincoln, at the age 5, stayed at the Tavern with his parents while they were involved in a land dispute. The Lincolns lost the case and as a result moved to Indiana. John Fitch, inventor of the steamboat, spent many hours in this old tavern.

In the course of the history, this ancient hotel has borne many different names. It was called the Hynes, Bardstown Hotel, Chapman’s House, Shady Bower Hotel, the Newman House, Old stone Tavern, and today is recognized as the Talbott Tavern.

The Tavern today stands as one of the oldest buildings in Bardstown. Where automobiles go today, stagecoach drivers once cracked their whips.