Stone Street: A Gem With A Rich History As The First Paved Road In Manhattan

With an old world charm, and surrounded by a sea of the Financial District’s twentieth century skyscrapers, this narrow street is the original cobblestone and open only to pedestrians.

 Stone Street features rows of renovated historic buildings and, in the middle of it all, are shaded picnic tables where you can enjoy tasty food and drinks from a choice selection of restaurants and bars.

“Downtown Manhattan has so much to offer,” said Blair Nicole, PR Director for Liberty Cruise NYC. “Stone Street alone is like taking a trip in a time capsule, dating back centuries.”

A Rich History

Dating back 400 years, when Dutch settlers laid out narrow winding roads and built small houses on what they called Hoogh Street, this Manhattan neighborhood is a historical landmark.

In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, it was of historical importance for the Dutch, English, and Jewish communities and included both commercial and residential properties. At that time it wasn’t called Manhattan but, rather, New Amsterdam.

Then, in 1658, when the Dutch paved it with stone using taxes collected from residents, it became the first paved street in the city. At the time, Wall Street was just a wooden wall protecting the northern border of New Amsterdam.

After the British conquest, when the colony was renamed New York, the street name was changed to Duke Street named for the Duke of York. Leveled in 1771, it was surveyed in 1790. New Yorkers renamed the street again–this time, Stone Street– in 1794 to erase traces of British rule.

After its destruction in the Great Fire of 1835, the street was rebuilt with store and loft buildings where merchants and importers held shop. Fifteen buildings, mostly from this time, are still standing today alongside more recent early-twentieth century architecture. Neglected during the mid-twentieth century, it was restored and repaved in the 1990s. In 1996, it was designated a historic district, and in 2006 it achieved landmark status.

Today it has become a hot residential neighborhood and a trendy hangout for singles and Wall Street workers. Here you will find some of city’s best taverns and restaurants, offering a wide range of cuisines and both indoor and outdoor seating.

If you are looking for pubs, bars, and taverns, you won’t be disappointed. Ulysses Folk House bar, an Irish pub, is open seven days a week until 4 a.m. and offers happy hour, a raw bar, communal tables, and an outdoor beer garden. Bavaria Bierhaus is a German beer hall with servers dressed in dirndl and lederhosen.

If you are a sports fan, Beckett’s Bar and Grill is a sports bar on the site of New York’s first printing press. It offers twenty-four large screen TVs. The Stone Street Tavern, an American pub with a rustic feel, serves burgers and beer and also offers multiple television screens.

For a more upscale experience, try Vintry Wine and Whiskey, which offers a wide selection of cocktails, craft beer, fine wines, and whiskeys from around the world in an intimate atmosphere. Tapas-style small plates are served here as well. The Growler Bites & Brews, a dimly-lit bar which features a dog motif, specializes in independent American craft brews.

There are plenty of options for food as well. Smorgas Chef, a Scandinavian restaurant, serves Swedish meatballs, Icelandic cod, and other Nordic dishes all made from local ingredients. Mad Dog & Beans offers Mexican cuisine, while Route 66 specializes in American food, serving barbecue and craft beer. Adrienne’s Pizza Bar is an Italian bistro serving square, thin-crust pizzas, salads, and Italian fare. Financier, a French patisserie, offers fresh coffee, cakes, and a lunch menu.

Just a two minute walk from Stone Street is Fraunces Tavern, one of the oldest pubs in New York. Opened in 1762 as Queen’s Head Tavern, it served British officers and Revolutionary generals including George Washington. Restored in 1907, it now offers multiple bar rooms and restaurant space.

So if you would like to see a different side of New York City, plan a visit to this unique neighborhood. And don’t forget to check out Liberty Cruise NYC tours for the most exciting views of the city’s sights.

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