Learn more about Martin's Tavern below from out interview with Lauren Martin, who will be the 5th generation of the Martin's family to take over.
What is something the community might not know about Martin's Tavern?
It is not only the Martin’s Family that has a lot of history in the Tavern but also the employees. We will be celebrating our longest working employee this year. As of April 2021, he will be celebrating 40 years of employment. Believe it or not, this actually outdates the current owner, Billy Martin’s own years of employment (which is 39 years). Many of our employees have been here for over 15 years!
Tell us about what it means to be one of the oldest continuously operating restaurants in DC
There is so much history here at Martin’s Tavern, and we love to share that with everyone. While the history is amazing, we owe being around since 1933 to the community. Throughout the last 87 years we have established long time relationships with not only the residents of DC but with people and families across the country and around the world. I love to hear all the stories that customers share with me about their traditions that they have created and carried out with their own families here. We are constantly blown away by the support and love within the community. Without them, we wouldn’t be where we are today. I look forward to continuing the family heritage and also building upon relationships and carrying them and many more into the future!
What does hospitality mean to your family?
Hospitality to us is so much more than just a job and being charismatic. It is truly creating a place that can be not only our home away from home but everyone’s home away from home. Being in the restaurant industry means multiple things to my family. We are passionate about food at Martin’s Tavern but also in our own home and at our own dining room table. Often times we are fighting over who gets to be in the kitchen or sharing the space and creating a dish to make lasting memories. The kitchen and restaurant are a place to bond and create relationships. Sharing a plate and a meal is so much more than just a bite of food but also an opportunity to get to know someone and share something special.
While we are passionate about food and beverage, we are also passionate about people. In opening our doors every day, we strive to make everyone who walks through our dining room feel like family. You never know what someone might be going through and if I can make their day a little better with a warm smile and a full belly than I have done my job.
What is on the menu right now that you recommend to first-time customers?
This is always such a difficult question for me to answer because I love so many items on our menu. One of my favorites is our crab cakes and there are many different ways to try them here. We have the petite crab cake appetizer, the crab cake sandwich, and the crab cake meal. Our crab cake recipe has been the same since we opened in 1933 and we use practically no filler at all. My two favorite comfort foods are the shepherd’s pie and fish and chips...I seriously cannot pick a favorite sandwich because I love them all so much! If I had to choose a dinner item it would be the seafood pasta!