The landmark that was Delaney’s

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Until Monday night, the landmark building that was most recently Delaney’s Tap Room had been some kind of bar or restaurant, pretty much as long as anybody can remember. Way back when it was called Bernie’s Wrin’s, local resident Harold Houston says his mother was a waitress when she was just 16 years old.

“That puts her there in 1934 and she used to tell me all the time how they used to run all of the girls ragged,” said Houston. “They had to hurry up with the trays and Bernie would say get out there, get out there, get out there.”

After that, the bar spent years as the Cape Codder. Houston remembers going there on his wedding day.

“There used to be a bartender in there, Uncle Ed, who was the typical old Irish bartender,” said Houston. “He served us up bloody mary’s before I took the walk up to get married at 10:00 in the morning up at St. Aeden’s.”

Charred 'Tap Room' sign from Delaney's in New Haven.
Charred ‘Tap Room’ sign from Delaney’s in New Haven.

For the past 15 years, it’s been known as Delaney’s. It’s location in the heart of New Haven’s Westville section made it an ideal neighborhood hangout

“I didn’t even have to move my car and it was safe,” said Westville resident Carolyn Stewart. “It’s going to be missed.”

“It’s a great place for families to come,” remembers Westville resident Carolyn Gallagher. “I have a daughter who’s now 13 and when she was two she’d be coloring on the tablecloths – they had the paper tablecloths and they’d give her crayons.”

The loss leaves a big hole in the heart of this neighborhood. Very few of the old buildings along Whalley Avenue are still being used for their original purpose, but at least everyone who worked and lived in the building is okay.

“It’s sad, it’s a building,” said Gallagher. “It’s a trademark of the community, but it is something that can be rebuilt versus loss of life.”

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