North Brentwood was the first African American town to become part of Prince George’s County when it was incorporated in 1924. Over time and out of necessity, this historic enclave has been home and host to famous citizens, athletes, and musicians like Sis’s Tavern that hosted Duke Ellington.

For over 80 year, Sis’s Tavern has served the North Brentwood community as a grocery store, tavern, music hall, and barber shop. In the 1960s, it became known as Sis’s Tavern and often hosted musical acts after their sets at the Howard Theatre in Washington, DC. It was also a members only club known as Baby Dee’s; later it was a barbershop from 1950 to about 2008. Because of it’s many uses and names, the building has amassed a collection of signs.

The Hyattsville Community Development Corporation was awarded a $3,000 Heritage Fund grant in support of the rehabilitation and reconstruction of several of the historic signs. Local Prince George’s County artist, Donald McCray was contracted to complete the project. A replacement babershop pole was ordered from the William Marvy Company in Minnesota and the the original will be displayed inside the building. The Town of North Brentwood owns the building and has plans to operate it as a community and arts programming space.

The Heritage Fund is a cooperative effort of Preservation Maryland and the Maryland Historical Trust to provide direct assistance for the protection of historical and cultural resources in Maryland. The program funds innovative demonstrative projects that can be successfully replicated to meet the Old Line State’s historic preservation needs.

History of North Brentwood

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