This week, I wanted to do something a little different, and rather than look towards the future, I wanted to reflect on New Haven’s past, and especially, all of the places which have come and gone from the Elm City.
But in order to do that, I needed the community’s help. After all, I’ve only been in New Haven for seven years. I can’t pretend to know everything about the city.
So this week, we look at all of the places we miss from New Haven. Some of my memories, some of my friends. I hope you enjoy.
Delaney’s (2000 – 2014)
The Heart of Westville, Delaney’s was one of my first introductions to New Haven. Behind the gross yellow shingles hid a mutant combination of sports bar, restaurant, and beer bar, all at once.
Somehow, Delaney’s managed to pull these all off effortlessly. With excellent pub grub (including my all-time favorite sweet potato fries), place mats you could draw on, and an extensive beer list, Delaney’s was THE neighborhood hangout in Westville.
Its absence is still felt today, though perhaps, in time, something will replace it.
The Tune Inn (90’sish – 2001)
“Growing up as an angsty weirdo in the 90s, there weren’t a whole lot of places we could go and be surrounded by our people. The Tune Inn was one of those precious places where we could feel like we weren’t alone on the fringes.
“The mix of bands, scenes, and youthful exuberance is very much the sort of thing you had to be there for and we’ll never really get back. At least not in the same way.”
Hula Hank’s (?? – 2006)
It’s weird how hard it is to find information about this place.
“Once upon a time or 2006, there was this bar called Hula Hanks, and on Wednesday nights you could get loaded for like $15, drink a couple neon colored shots all while listening to My Humps by Fergie and maybe take a ride in the swing above the bar. It was a glorious time.”
Bentara (1997 – 2015)
One of my first and favorite New Haven restaurants, Bentara brought Malaysian cuisine to the Elm City with a variety of amazing dishes.
The New York Times, in its excellent review in 2011, loved all of their dishes. The Nasi Lemak and the Rendang were both personal favorites of mine.
Pho & Spice currently sits there, and while I am always down some for some FUH (especially in the winter), Bentara was always one of my all-time favorites.
White Mountain Creamery (circa 1985… ?)
“The place I miss most is The White Mountain Creamery. (Where Ivy Noodle is now- corner of Park and Elm).
“I was so young – so my memories are a bit hazy. But circa 1985 – It was the place to go for ice cream. This was hand made ice cream and there a display of how the ice cream was made as well. It was a place where my family would go to celebrate some accomplishment of childhood.
“My brother’s little league victory. The musical written by Susan Bingham — The Emperor and the Nightingale, performed by Anthony M. Lopez, Judith Caldwell, and the 5th & 6th grade students of Worthington Hooker School. (In those days the school was only in building on the corner of Canner and Livingston.)
“The music teacher Carol Heath put on wonderful musical events. The Christmas Revels – was my favorite-selection of different medieval songs and poems in which the entire student body played a part (Steve Rodgers, Jonny Rodgers, and others).
“Afterwards, we would head to White Mountain for the most delicious ice cream in the world. Now-Perhaps the ice cream really was amazing or perhaps it is just my memories of that special time in life- that makes my memory of the place so sweet.”
C.O. Jones (2007 – 2016)
Get it? Cojones?
“C.O. Jones was an amazing hangout where $10 could get you as many burritos as you wanted, and three half-price margarita’s, with some cash left over for tip. The burritos weren’t great, but this is free food we are talking about.
I think it was so loud in there because for some reason tequila makes you shout.”
— Dan McLeggon
Anchor Bar (1940’s – 2015)
Two years ago, New Haven lost one of the most legendary bars in its history when Anchor Bar closed.
It opened and closed a few times over the years, but what can you really say about the Anchor? It oozed personality out of its weird carpet. The wraparound booths were brilliant, and those folks knew how to make a vodka soda.
The bar has roughly re-opened as Anchor Spa, with fancy cocktails and a more urban vibe, and I don’t want to denigrate it — it’s a solid bar — but it’s not the Anchor Bar as I knew it.
Apparently, Yale (their landlords) had some issue with them not paying rent. Seems like a trivial concern but you know… that’s Yale for ya.
Anna Liffey’s (1997 – 2017)
Diesel Cafe (now Diesel Lounge)
“I don’t know if I count, since I moved away, but I miss Diesel Cafe.
“Take note, this is NOT Diesel Lounge but was in the same location and used the same font on the sign. I actually think it IS the same sign and they just changed the one word. This would have been around ’96.
“It was a sweet coffee shop with a very bohemian feel. I would go (generally bumming a ride from a parent or friend because I was 16 and didn’t have my own car) to see my friend’s jazz band play there. We’d go and order whatever sugary coffee drink with what seemed at the time like a fancy name and feel all cool about it and the twenty-something barristas or who-knows-how-old owner would serve them up and do all they could not to shatter the illusion.
“It probably wasn’t as nice or as cool as all that, but the 20 years between now and then has been kind to the memory.”
— Patrick Abrahamson Jones
Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed our little trip down memory lane. New Haven has had its share of great (and not great) places, including many we’ve missed, like Richter’s, Nikkita’s, R Bar, Cutler’s Records, York Square Cinema, and Educated Burger.
With any luck, New Haven’s future remains bright, and many great new places will open (and sadly close). But sometimes, it’s nice to just reflect on and cherish the past a little.
Okay, that’s enough. TO THE FUTURE!