The new Batdorf Restaurant is located at the historic Washington House Tavern. The parcel of land on which the building sits was deeded in 1747 to Andrew Miller, the father of Abraham Miller, who founded the town of Annville and whose wife is its namesake. The original proprietors of the parcel were the Penn Brothers, Thomas and Richard, the sons of William Penn.
The parcel of land passed from one owner to another, but around 1788, a structure was built for which a tavern license was procured from Dauphin County, to operate a "public house," the old English term for an inn or tavern. The owner at that time was John Eberhard Bender and he called his tavern the Washington House. George Washington had just become our nation's First President and Mr. Eberhard wished to honor him in this way.
The building has had numerous owners since then and was opened mostly as a tavern or lodging house, not always having a good reputation. It also served as a general store and even a shoe store, which closed in 1958. In 1984, William Margut purchased the property and later sold it to his son, Scott. Scott Margut made some nice renovations to the building in the early 2000's, before selling it to the present owners, the Rotunda Brothers, in April 2007.
The Washington House, early 20th century. Having operated the Batdorf Restaurant two blocks east for nearly three years, David, Louis and Michael Rotunda brought the name with them and teamed up to make further major changes and additions to the property. Seating capacity has been greatly expanded and the new Batdorf boasts six dining rooms, two bars, three fireplaces, a tropical "Pub-Tiki" patio, and an eclectic decor (thanks to the assistant from the brothers' mother Guadalupe). The menu likewise shows some interesting new items including good hearty American fare, Southwestern Cuisine, Chef specialties and authentic Mexican dishes. There are more than 200 brands of bottled beer plus 24 drafts on tap. There is also a wine draft system for those customers who prefer the vine. The decor, the foods, the atmosphere all serve to reflect the diversity which characterizes our 21st century American society.
So come and visit us, stay awhile and enjoy the new Batdorf Restaurant. And as far we know, there are no ghosts!