Oldest Bar in New Haven on the Market

The oldest bar in New Haven in its original location is the former Richter’s Café at 990 Chapel Street.  This historic and distinguished space has been a pub since 1858, enduring Prohibition as a speakeasy.  The bar is noteworthy for its magnificent oak woodwork and paneling which would be economically prohibitive to replicate in a space of this type today.

The bar was originally part of the New Haven House Hotel which was designed by Henry Austin, the architect of New Haven’s City Hall.  The original hotel was torn down to make room for the Taft Hotel in 1912.  The taproom survived and had its 8 foot walls raised by 4 feet.  It operated as the Taft Tap Room and was a favorite of Yale students until its first closing in 1970.  A Yale graduate, H. Richter Elser revived the establishment in 1983 as Richter’s and it operated under that name until June 2011 when it closed.  After a failed attempt to re-open the historic pub, the space was placed on the market by its owner Taft Management.  Dow Realty has been chosen to represent the landlord in a search for a tenant that will return the pub to the New Haven social scene.


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