When the owners bought the James Brown House in 1977, the bar it housed had gone nameless since the end of Prohibition. Furthermore, because the house—built in 1817 for James Brown, believed to be a black man who assisted George Washington during the Revolution—was on the National Register of Historic Buildings, a new sign would mean a lengthy review process. So they decided simply to paint over the neon “BAR” sign to make it read “EAR”. The move actually paid homage to the building’s history—the upstairs once housed the publishers of Ear Magazine. This is just one of the many stories in the colorful history of The Ear Inn, located within one of the last remaining Federal houses in the city. Thanks to the many goings-on in the rooms of the James Brown House, the bar has been the epicenter of spiritual worship, a smugglers’ den, speakeasy, and brothel. Today, it transports guests to another time beneath double-splayed keystone lintels, peg-set wood posts and beams, and a Flemish bond-brick façade. It also hosts live music and serves homestyle meals.