CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- There is a empty plot of land at the corner of 38th Parallel Boulevard and Spruce Street in Philadelphia that will soon be occupied. This property, which sits amongst the cobblestone streets, will soon be a historical one for Marines.
Within a year, a scheduled re-building of Tun Tavern will take place there.
Members of the Tun Tavern Historical Society are currently working on a plan, with the help from city of Philadelphia, its community and various other organizations, to re-build the tavern only meters away from its original spot.
"It will be a fully-functional tavern as soon as we're done with it," said Master Sgt. Anthony J. Defonzo, a reservist in Philadelphia and chairman of the Tun Tavern Historical Society. "We are looking at having it totally completed by Nov. 10, 2001."
According to Defonso, the three-decked building will serve food, drinks and have billiards in the basement.
He said the first floor will be used as the actual tavern for social gatherings, etc. On the second floor, he explained, there will be a large open area, like a barracks, that will have racks and bathroom facilities -all of which can be used by those who travel. He said units like recruiting stations can also use this planned are for luncheons and unit dinners.
It's more than just opening up a bar in the middle of Philadelphia on the Marine Corps birthday, said Defonzo.
"This will be a high-class tavern," he said. "We are going to make sure everyone acts professional and no kind of arguments or fights will be tolerated. We want to keep all of our guests happy and keep them coming back for a good time."
Defonso said he wants Marines to be able to work there as well.
"We are trying to get some Marines to come out from the 4th Marine Corps Recruiting District," stated Defonso. "There is a space designed within the tavern for them to have their recruiting office there."
According to Defonso, it takes a lot of money to accomplish a project like this.
"After adding up all of the costs for materials, labor and everything else that comes with opening a new business, it looked like a million dollar project," said Defonso. "But we are getting a lot of help through some outside agencies to support our project by donating their services."
Defonso said a groundbreaking ceremony is planned later this year.