Although the graphics on its handsome matchcovers are appealingly archiac, the Camden Tavern did not open until after Prohibition. During the restless forced idleness of the Depression years, when sandlot sports drew large crowds and extensive newspaper coverage, the taverns baseball team took on such local powerhouses as neighborhood arch-rival Kavakos Grille. A May, 1935, Washington Post article reported that former Senator greats Sam Rice and Joe Judge would don Camden Tavern uniforms for a battle on the elipse with Majestic Radio. Although Rice and Judge were both over 40, each had worn a major league uniform in 1934. And in bowling, the Camden Tavern's squad of "maple-spillers" regularly won league titles at Northeast Temple lanes near the corner of 13th and H Streets NE.
Times in the neighborhood began getting harder in the 1940s, when the tavern was burgled several times. In 1948, a fleeing young man was shot and critically wounded after a police patrol encountered him behind the tavern at 2:30 AM on a Sunday morning. In 1954, another young man, reportedly out on bond after a "street theft" arrest, was shot and seriously wounded as the climax to an argument inside the tavern. And even Washington's most established local institutions were finding postwar times inhospitable. The matchcover's offer of "Schlitz Beer on draught" was one more toll of the death bell for Senate and the Heurich Brewery, which the national brands drove out of business in 1956.
The Camden itself barely survived the Heurich Brewery. The mid-1950s were Washington's peak years of suburban flight, and by 1960 the Camden had given way to a Saint Vincent De Paul Thrift Store. But its handsome building still sits at a jaunty angle to the corner of 13th and H Streets NE with fishscale shingles and sword-like spire intact.