History of Carpenter Street Saloon

In 1887 Henry Clay Dodson, the town pharmacist & brickyard owner, erected this first commercial structure in St. Michaels. Dodson sold a variety of produces from his pharmacy. The goods ranged from: drugs and medicines, chemicals, fine toilet soap, fancy hair and tooth brushes, perfumes, fancy toilet articles, trusses, shoulder braces, grass, garden seeds, pure wine and liquors for medicinal purposes, paints, oils, varnishes, die stuffs, and stationery. A date brick, located on the southwest corner of the building, bears the Dodson name. Between 1920 and 1963, Dodson Drugstore was occupied by a bank. During this time, a vault constructed of 3 foot reinforced concrete was erected in the building. The vault survived and is currently used as an office and walk-in cooler. The original vault door is operational and is closed and locked nightly. The second floor was home to the St. Michaels Telephone Company. The switchboard operator, Miss Ruth Daffin recalls tales of “how it used to be.” The “Comet” a local newspaper, was published in the building, and an example of the New Year’s Day Edition is currently on loan to St. Mary’s Square Museum. The third floor was removed after a fire sometime between 1952 and 1963. The bank relocated and the structure was converted into a tavern. “Elsie and Sid’s” Suds Shop served the town from 1963-1976. The business was sold and the name was changed to Carpenter Street Saloon. The current owners have expanded the business. The tavern is the heartbeat of the town and the restaurant has served the town for 20+ years. The Second floor is the “now famous” GAME ROOM. Pool tables, video games and local color create a very special experience for locals and visitors alike.


Adjoining the brick-main building is a one and half story structure wing with a paneled store front. This building served as a post office, sundae shop, and pool hall until it was remodeled in 1965. The renovation consisted of pouring a cement slab floor and rebuilding the walls with cement blocks. The ceiling is crowned with the original ventilation shaft and the original crown molding graces the front door. Our kitchen is staffed with the best cuisine creators on the shore.