The Restaurants

The atmosphere of The Four Dogs Tavern is quaint, fun and casual. By comparison, the Marshalton Inn has a warm, quiet and more intimate feel. Both locations lure guests to beautiful outdoor dining areas during warmer days, while cooler months our fireplaces and rustic historic charm beckon them inside. Seasonal events, such as the Marshalton Triathlon and the Marshalton Village House Tours make a visit to either restaurant a fun, delicious and memorable destination.

The Village

The village of Marshallton, originally a Quaker settlement, was first settled in the 1760s. Primarily an agricultural community, the settlement flourished as a crossroad village due to its proximity to Strasburg Road and nearby waterways. Strasburg Road became an official state thoroughfare in the 1790s, establishing it as the main route between Philadelphia and Lancaster, and further insuring the village as a prime location for industries such as blacksmithing, wheelwriting, cooping and milling. Other businesses included a cigar shop, shoe maker, tin smith and barber.

The Inn

The building that is the Marshalton Inn was built by Joseph Woodward in 1793. The structure is an early example of Federal style architecture. In 1802, the property was sold to Abraham Martin, son-in-law to Joseph Woodward. Two years later, Martin converted the house into an inn and tavern. The prime location on Strasburg Road brought many travelers, especially drovers and teamsters, through the village of Marshallton and to the inn. During its existence, the inn has had twenty four inn keepers and eight name changes including Sign of the General Wayne and the Marshallton Hotel (1858). The name “Marshalton Inn” was established in 1965. The building was placed on the National Register of Historic places in 1977. Some may notice that the name of the village (Marshallton) and the name of the restaurant (Marshalton) are spelled differently. During a property transfer, “Marshalton” was misspelled on a deed. The error was never corrected.

Tavern History

The Four Dog Tavern's history was bustling with commerce. Strasburg Road was once the main route between Philadelphia and Pittsburg. Drovers, politicians and common travelers all traveled the route and often stopped at the Marshalton Inn, due to its prime location on Strasburg Road and its central proximity to Lancaster and Philadelphia. The building that is now home to the Four Dogs Tavern was originally the stables for the Marshalton Inn. Often it was teeming with cattle, sheep, hogs and horses. At one time, the building housed a series of shops, each located within the original stalls. Renovations in 1978 converted the structure into a restaurant named The Oyster Bar. In 1996, under new ownership, it became the Four Dogs Tavern.

The name "Four Dogs Tavern" is due to the finding of a print of four foxhounds hidden in the attic. The print now hangs just inside the Tavern's bar entrance. The original was painted by Louis Godefroy Jadin (French, 1805-1882). Jadin was a painter of wildlife and French landscapes for the "haute monde" of the Second Empire and Napoleon III. He is best known for his paintings of dogs. It is believed that the painting of the four foxhounds was originally to be hung in a panel of three. The four foxhounds, named Marcano, Sereno, Lentenor and Nicanor, would be the central image. To either side was a pair of paintings of individual hounds. The hounds of the individual portraits were named Calypso, Sabro, Verone and Barbaro. The "Barbaro" painting inspired the name for the 2006 Kentucky Derby

Chef & Owner

David Cox, a West Chester native, and his wife, Wendy Cox, became chef/pastry chef and owners of the Marshalton Inn and Four Dogs Tavern in 2006. His culinary reputation is marked with a demand for high-quality seasonal ingredients and a never compromising standard in food preparation. This stubborn determination developed while working in New York City.

After graduating from Johnson and Wales, David worked at many renowned five star hotels in Hawaii, California, Florida, New Mexico and Puerto Rico. Eventually, he earned the position of Executive Sous Chef at the famed Waldorf=Astoria Hotel. The Waldorf=Astoria is known for being the premier luxury hotel in New York City. The demands of this landmark destination taught David the importance of leadership, timeliness, and professionalism in a disciplined kitchen. His next career move introduced him to Terrance Brennan and began his tenure as Executive Chef at Picholine and Artisanal. While working with Terrance, both restaurants received high ratings from the New York Times (three stars) and the Zagat Guide (27 points). Tim Zagat, in his review of Artisanal, states " would be hard pressed to find Mediterranean cuisine better than Terrance Brennan and David Cox's breathtakingly gorgeous creations at this sumptuous Lincoln Center area class act". The third hallmark was working for Laurent Gras at the Peacock Alley at the Waldorf Astoria. Laurent Gras is a highly regarded chef, known for his French-based cuisine. Under Laurent and Terrance, David learned to master French cooking techniques, the magic of cheese and the synchronicity of food and the seasons.

David has worked at highly regarded restaurants and hotels, worked for some of the best chefs, and he has prepared meals for top celebrities and dignitaries. All of this preparation has brought him back to his roots in West Chester. His guests can now enjoy the best seasonal food available, prepared to the best of his abilities. As stated in County Lines Magazine in March 2007, David's food is the "best of comfort food and haute cuisine".