Old Town: If you dined at Little Tavern, you will remember Alice Miles

It was indeed sad news to learn that Alice Miles had passed away on Nov. 20, at Patuxent River Rehabilitation Center, in Laurel. She had been a city resident since her birth on July 6, 1927.

A Laurel High School alumnus, Alice was employed at several local landmarks. Among them were the lunch counter at Woolworth's, Laurel Bowling Alley and a better than 20-year stint at what was then the Little Tavern. She worked there from the 1960s until the mid-1980s.


This particular item may have gotten by me had it not been for self-described "erstwhile" Laurel Junior and Senior High School teacher Bill Russell, who was kind enough to drop me a note from his home in West Virginia. Included in his email was an excerpt from the book "The Great American Road Trip - U.S. 1 Maine to Florida" by Peter Genovese, in which Alice was featured.

Along with a brief history of the Little Tavern building that resembles a Swiss chalet, there are a number of photographs. A particular favorite shows Alice and her then manager, Carole Mitchell, standing in front of the now legendary pie cases, each wearing a toothy smile.


Alice is quoted in the book as saying, "Believe it or not, a Little Tavern burger tastes best at 2:30 in the morning." It has been my personal experience that the lady spoke the truth. There are times when I wake up in the middle of the night, craving what some people used to call "death balls."

Bill, who taught at the aforementioned local schools from 1962 until 1975, finished his note by saying that she "made every visit to Little Tavern pleasant."

First United Methodist Church at 424 Main St. is holding its annual bazaar this Saturday, Dec. 1, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. in the church's fellowship hall. Homemade crafts, baked goods, a "new-to-you" table and a silent auction will be offered. Vendors include Pampered Chef, Hawkeye's Barn Fine Woodworking, 31 Gifts, Organo Gold Coffee and others. Lunch will be available to purchase.

The Laurel Historical Society now has on sale its 2012 Christmas ornament. It depicts the Laurel Cotton Mill as it was in the 1920s. It is available online at, or you can purchase it at the museum gift shop, 817 Main St., during normal business hours and this weekend's open house.

Salute Ristorante Italiano, 504 Main St., is normally closed Monday evenings. However, with Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve falling on a Monday, they will be open both nights for your dining pleasure.