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Cyber-toasting the Anchor

New Haveners past and present are lifting their virtual glasses in a cyber-toast to the Anchor bar and restaurant, which closed abruptly on Sunday night after failing to pay the rent.

The Anchor was the place you always went for dinner with your parents when they visited in the early ’60s,” George Drick ’65 wrote on our Facebook page. “I remember outright lies, more subtle evasions, terrific pickles, and wonderful free chopped liver.”

Comedy writer John Hodgman ’94 struck a similar note on his blog.

“This is where I learned to write (and drink and talk) from Lee K Abbott and Donald Faulkner [’78MPhil] and Tom Perrotta [’83],” Hodgman recalled. “This is where [Jonathan] Coulton [’93] and I schemed up many schemes, and later returned as grown men to drink grasshoppers after the Whiffenpoof reunion because we didn’t want to go to the naked party. It is a lovely, great, beautiful place, and for all those reasons always seemed doomed.”

What doomed the Anchor was its manager’s inability to pay the rent, prompting the landord—Yale’s University Properties—to pull the plug. Although owner Charlie Moore said he was ready to pack it in, about 1,000 people have signed an online petition asking Yale not to “shut down the Anchor.”

“The losses of Yankee Doodle, Cutler’s Records, Whitlock’s Bookstore on Broadway, and now the Anchor seem likely to detract from the character of the city, and also to be unnecessary,” Tom Noerper ’97 posted on our Facebook page. “Are we to allow market forces to clumsily impose cultural homogeneity on ever[y] corner of America?”

Maybe so.

“I will sign no petition to ‘Save The Anchor,’” Hodgman notes. “Memories fade. Businesses fail. . . . All good things fall.”


The Yale Alumni Magazine is published by Yale Alumni Publications Inc., an alumni-based nonprofit that is not run by Yale University. Its content does not necessarily reflect the views of the university administration.

Filed under Anchor Bar, Yale University Properties
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