Light & Verity

Adieu to the Anchor

A landmark New Haven bar closes abruptly.

Mike Franzman

Mike Franzman

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Thornton Wilder ’20 drank here, and so, quite possibly, did you. Esquire magazine thought it one of the 25 best bars in America. The Anchor Bar has been a fixture in New Haven since the 1940s, watching the decline and revival of the College Street area as its own moderne decor moved from hip to dated to hip again. But in January, the Anchor abruptly closed its doors. The business had struggled to pay its rent in recent years, and Yale, its landlord, said that the Anchor had failed to abide by a court judgment that would have allowed it to stay in the space. Anchor fans petitioned Yale to preserve the bar; the university says it has not determined its plan for the site. On his blog, writer John Hodgman ’94 remembered the bar from his student days: “It is a lovely, great, beautiful place, and for all those reasons always seemed doomed.”

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