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Olde School Folds
by Melissa Bailey | Sep 2, 2013 10:34 am
Posted to: Arts & Culture, Dining, Downtown
A “for lease” sign went up in the window of Olde School Saloon & Bistro, making clear what regulars had feared: The popular downtown bar and music venue is gone for good.
The sign went up two weeks ago at 418 State St., according to Realtor Dan Johnson of MJB Realty.
The bar quietly closed its doors in July. Passersby wondered if the owners, Jeffrey Arnold and Adam Ganzle, were on vacation. Then weeks passed by. The bar’s Facebook page disappeared with no note.
The “for lease” sign finally made it clear.
“We closed due to the poor economy and large concentration of competition and promotion of the areas of Church Street and West on Crown/Chapel/Church,” Arnold and Ganzle wrote in an email to the Independent.
The bar opened in February of 2010 in the shuttered former home of Roberto’s lunch and breakfast joint.
“We were one of the first places to open in the area poised to be a support business of 360 State, and of possible growth and stability on this part of State St,” the owners recalled.
After three months of renovations, they opened an ambitious space that combined a casual bar with a white-tabled restaurant. Arnold and Ganzle, who both work with at-risk kids at ACES in their day jobs, drew crowds with a combo of dollar-beer specials, ramekins of escargot, jazz brunch and evening concerts.
(Click on the play arrow to check out a feature starring “Chef Jeff” Arnold.)
“We transformed a closed breakfast/lunch place into a nice eatery/neighborhood bar that hosted some of the best area artists including Jaimoe, Bernard Purdie, Rohn Lawrence among others,” the owners recalled.
“We had some of the best local customers from all backgrounds and supported our local community.”
Johnson, the Realtor, said he wasn’t surprised that another downtown eatery had closed.
“The restaurant business is really hard,” he said. “A lot of people don’t go out when the economy’s bad.”
At the same time, he said, he’s received calls from potential tenants interested in leasing the space.
“New Haven’s hot. I lease a lot of property there,” Johnson said, especially along Temple, College, Chapel and Church. “New Haven’s picking up.”
He said Olde School remains in good shape inside.
“It’s ready to go in,” he said. “Someone can go in there and change the aesthetics and make it their own.”
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Hope this reopens soon. Having a bar at this corner, especially one with outdoor seating, provided a lot of added safety in the evening hours.
That is a great idea.
The downstairs would make a perfect and nostalgic, underground arcade.
Now that Cutler’s is gone, I’m stuck playing Donkey Kong at the Bubble and Squeak.
Donkey Kong is for losers.
It would be cool if there was Galaga though.
Is Jason Sobocinski ready to take on yet another project?
does it strike any of the readers as odd that a restaurant closes due to poor economics when supposedly ‘New Haven is Hot’ and ‘New Haven’s picking up’?
How many restaurants have close their doors in the last 6 months due to an inability to cover the soaring costs of doing business in New Haven (taxes, utilities….)
A Barcade-type place would be awesome. New Haven needs more cool-dive, not trendy-faux-dive. No disrespect to Sobocinski or any of his fine establishments!