Strasburg Road once was the main route between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. 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 central proximity to Lancaster and Philadelphia. The building that is now home to the Four Dogs Tavern was originally the stables to the Marshalton Inn. Often it was teeming with cattle, sheep, hogs and horses. At one time, the building was home to 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, became the Four Dogs Tavern.
The name “Four Dogs Tavern” is due to the print of four foxhounds that hangs just inside the 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.
The Four Dogs Tavern is a destination. The restaurant is located just four miles west of West Chester, in the village of Marshallton, a federal historic district. The American brasserie menu is prepared with the freshest, the best and, quite often, local ingredients. The atmosphere is warm, friendly and inviting. During warmer days, diners are lured to the beautiful outdoor patio. Summertime finds many four-legged, furry friends perched under tables. During cooler months, the fireplace in the bar beckons guests. Live music is available Thursday through Sunday. Many events, such as the Marshallton Triathlon, Halloween Party and Ghost Walk make a visit to the Four Dogs Tavern memorable. The Four Dogs Tavern, a fun, delicious and memorable destination.