The Four Dog Tavern’s history was bustling with commerce. Strasburg Road was once the main route between Philadelphia and Pittsburg. Drovers, politicians and common travelers all traveled the route and often stopped at the Marshalton Inn, due to its prime location on Strasburg Road and its central proximity to Lancaster and Philadelphia. The building that is now home to the Four Dogs Tavern was originally the stables for the Marshalton Inn. Often it was teeming with cattle, sheep, hogs and horses. At one time, the building housed a series of shops, each located within the original stalls. Renovations in 1978 converted the structure into a restaurant named The Oyster Bar. In 1996, under new ownership, it became the Four Dogs Tavern.
History dating back to
The name “Four Dogs Tavern” is due to the finding of a print of four foxhounds hidden in the attic. The print now hangs just inside the Tavern’s bar entrance. The original was painted by Louis Godefroy Jadin (French, 1805-1882). Jadin was a painter of wildlife and French landscapes for the “haute monde” of the Second Empire and Napoleon III. He is best known for his paintings of dogs. It is believed that the painting of the four foxhounds was originally to be hung in a panel of three. The four foxhounds, named Marcano, Sereno, Lentenor and Nicanor, would be the central image. To either side was a pair of paintings of individual hounds. The hounds of the individual portraits were named Calypso, Sabro, Verone and Barbaro. The “Barbaro” painting inspired the name for the 2006 Kentucky Derby