Talk about barflies. Some people just won’t leave, will they? John and Cathy O’Brien at Three Flags Tavern have some permanent residents on their walls, and we thought we’d introduce you to them for Throwback Thursday. So we’re throwing it way way back, two hundred and ten years, to be exact. Diners and food critics alike have been singing the praises of Three Flags Tavern’s fried chicken, lobster rolls, ground-brisket burger, the tacos, and — you know what? Forget it — you can’t go wrong with anything on their menu. The service is top-notch, and the drinks are too.
We published a little piece on some of the design elements in the space a few months ago (you can check it out here), but we thought we’d introduce you to the historical figures in the dining room for Throwback Thursday. (Really, how often can we go back that far?) We’ve also included some of the outtakes from the ads above the bar, some of which are hilarious. (Doctor Butts!) Scroll through the gallery below, and the caption will clue you in on a (probably useless) bit of local trivia.
William Clark, from the Lewis & Clark expedition. He was an elderly 33 years old when he left St. Louis to head west.
Marie-Therese Bourgeois Chouteau was often referred to as the First Lady of St. Louis. Her first husband left her after she gave birth to Auguste Chouteau, and she started a relationship with Pierre Laclede when she was 22. They had a common law marriage and had four children together, all of which had the surname Chouteau, not Laclede.
This fuzzy guy didn’t make the wall, but we wanted to share him with you anyway. This is Seaman, Meriwether Lewis’ dog. Lewis bought the Newfoundland in Pittsburgh for $20, and Seaman made it to the Pacific and back.
Pierre Laclede was the French fur trader who founded St. Louis in 1764. Common law husband to Marie-Therese Bourgeois Chouteau.
Meriwether Lewis was present during the Three Flags Ceremony on March 9, 1804. We included Lewis & Clark in the decor because they could not leave for their journey until the United States secured the Louisiana Territory, which was commemorated at the Three Flags Ceremony.
Pierre Clement de Laussat was the governor of the Louisiana Territory when it was owned by the French.
This handsome guy is Manuel Lisa, Spanish fur trader and one of the founders of the Missouri Fur Company with William Clark, Jean Pierre Chouteau and Pierre Chouteau (sons of Pierre Laclede and Madame Chouteau).
Thomas Jefferson, president during the Three Flags Ceremony and the resulting Lewis & Clark Expedition.
Sacagawea, a Shoshone woman who acted as interpreter and guide for the Lewis & Clark Expedition.
This distinguished chap is Don Carlos de Hault De Lassus, the Spanish lieutenant who was the Spanish representative at the Three Flags Ceremony.
Auguste Chouteau, son of Madame Chouteau and stepson to Pierre Laclede. Legend has it he founded St. Louis with Pierre Laclede.
View of the portraits in the Three Flags Tavern dining room with the Karl Bodmer map.
Pages from the 1875 Compton & Dry Pictorial, a hand-drawn map, that shows Three Flags Tavern’s neighborhood. (Vandeventer used to be called “Old Manchester.”) The restaurant would be on the right page, just west of the “Kings High Way” intersection.