Black's Tavern is commonly regarded as the first hotel in Newark. It served as both a tavern and as an inn, as was the custom of the time. Black's Tavern was established in 1802 when James Black built a log cabin to the east of a "frog pond" on what is now the east side of the square. When Newark was first settled, the ground was not the flat terrain we know today. Black's Tavern sat on higher ground, making it "probably, the most important building in the place, standing high and dry on an elevated piece of ground". History indicates that Black’s Tavern was the first structure to be built in Newark. According to a 1959 article in the Newark Advocate, “History recalls that the first sale of lots in the new community of Newark was to James Jeffries erected by James Black…it was used as a hotel. It was the first in the new town of Newark and was called Black’s Tavern.” The original Black’s Tavern was replaced by the Green Tavern, and later the Hotel Warden. The site of Black’s Tavern is where Wendy’s is located today.
- “Reminiscences,” The Newark Daily Advocate, April 1, 1894.
- Hazel Kirk, “Landmark Falls in Path of Progress,” The Newark Advocate, March 13, 1959.