FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  — January 9, 2024
Contact: J. A. Lyon, Director of Marketing & Communications

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – The Thomas Jefferson Foundation, the private nonprofit that owns and operates Monticello, today announced that it has entered into an agreement to purchase Michie Tavern, a Virginia Historic Landmark located in Charlottesville, Virginia. The generosity of several longtime supporters allowed the Foundation to take this important step, which will benefit visitors to Monticello and the other important historic sites along the Route 53 corridor.

“Michie Tavern is a beloved institution that has served our community and many Monticello visitors for years,” said Tobias Dengel, Chair of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Board of Trustees. “Two of the key missions of the Foundation are preservation and education. This transaction will ensure that Monticello’s principal entrance corridor and the Saunders Trail are protected and preserved, allowing visitors to continue to enjoy a scenic journey to Monticello for generations to come. We will also have the ability to present new education and interpretation opportunities, and ensure guests have access to convenient amenities and culinary experiences as part of their visit.”

“My family and I are very proud of what we have accomplished in the fifty-five years that we have owned and operated Michie Tavern,” said Greg MacDonald. "We are delighted that Michie Tavern's future will be in the capable hands of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation so future generations can continue to enjoy the wonderful experience we worked so hard to create. I would like to sincerely thank our hardworking staff, local customers, and our visitors from all over the globe who have supported Michie Tavern for the past fifty-five years." 

Monticello is committed to ensuring a seamless transition at Michie Tavern. All existing reservations will be honored, and guests can expect the same great service and delicious food that has made Michie Tavern a favorite for both locals and visitors.

“Much like Monticello, Michie Tavern is a beloved historic site that plays a special role in bridging the gap between the past and present. The Tavern serves a taste of the past to the tens of thousands of students, families, and tourists who visit our region each year and we will be working with a nationally recognized partner to deliver coordinated experiences and amenities across Monticello, the Jefferson Vineyards, and Michie Tavern,” said Monticello interim president, Gardiner Hallock. “On behalf of the Foundation, I would like to take a moment to thank several longtime Monticello donors, whose immense generosity and continued support made this possible.”

Originally constructed in western Albemarle County around 1784 and moved to its current site near Monticello in 1927, Michie Tavern has been a gathering place for the community for almost 250 years. Michie Tavern offers a unique dining experience inspired by 18th-century Southern recipes and hospitality. Michie Tavern also includes the Tavern Shop and General Shop, along with several other relocated historic buildings. The agreement includes a customary study period and is expected to close this spring.