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Shields Tavern, Williamsburg, Virginia

422 E. Duke of Gloucester Street
Williamsburg , Virginia
Tel: 800 828 3767 (toll-free); 757 229 2141's insider take:

Evidently, the powers that be decreed four full-on taverns with a large "Bill of Fayre" to be overkill, so Shields has become a coffeehouse instead. While lamenting the demotion of the magnificently cranky host, James Shields—a scenery-chewing part that allowed actors large portions of ham—one has to admit this is useful (and besides, Shields still makes an appearance). During the day, you sit down with assorted interpretive staff over a beverage and chicken salad or a cheese plate and slice of pie. At dusk, the place drops the genteel act and turns into something closer to its original calling. You can have an aperitif or digestif or dine light on Welsh rarebit, pasties, and pâté.

Open daily 8:30 am to 5 pm.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.