Home Featured News Pittsburgh’s Oyster House: an institution since 1870

Pittsburgh’s Oyster House: an institution since 1870

by The 100 Companies

Pittsburgh’s oldest bar and restaurant was first owned by the Rev. John C. Peck, an advocate for civil rights and education for Blacks and friend of Frederick Douglass. Oysters were a penny and beer only 10 cents a pint at the bustling bar. But the restaurant had a bigger purpose: It served as a strategic location along the Underground Railroad.

Slaves, and subsequently indentured servants, were transported to Peck’s Oyster House in wagons masquerading as food delivery trucks and then smuggled into nearby barges and steamships. Today, the tavern is a landmark designated by the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation.

– Eve Lederman, The 100 Companies

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