Frances Brinley constructed the original building on the site in 1652. In 1673, he sold the lot to William Mayes who enlarged the building to become a tavern.The building was also used for large meetings, including use as a Rhode Island General Assembly meeting place, a court house, and a city hall. William Mayes obtained a tavern license in 1687 and his son William Mayes, Jr. operated the tavern through the early eighteenth century. The operation was named "The White Horse Tavern" in 1730 by owner Jonathan Nichols.
Tories and British troops were quartered there during the British occupation of Newport in the American Revolution, around the time of the Battle of Rhode Island. Newport's Van Bueren family donated money to the private Preservation Society of Newport to restore the building in 1952, after years of neglect as a boarding house. After the restoration, the building was sold and once again operated as a private tavern and restaurant. As of 2015, it still remains a popular drinking and dining location.
According to wikipedia