After enduring several years of flagging business and costly government regulation, the Chapel St. bar Richter’s will shutter its doors June 25, owner Dieter vonRabenstein told the New Haven Independent. The closure of the longtime Yale haunt comes amid what vonRabenstein called the “triple whammy” of summer, when students and locals alike are sparse, and follows the March closure of the Orange St. bar Christy’s.
“I’m not making any money…I haven’t paid myself in well over a year,” vonRabenstein said. “This business that used to be a lot of fun is not anymore.”
The bar’s lunchtime business has dwindled as people seek to save money with home-made lunches, he said, adding that the high costs of complying with increasingly stringent government regulations — he said he needed to buy a new grease trap — have also hurt Richter’s finances.
Because members of the Yale community account for roughly 40 percent of business, Richter’s is usually in the red over summer, he explained, estimating that he had lost $50,000 each of the last three summers.
VonRabenstein predicted that other bars would go out of business by the end of summer, but Yalies still have options. Rudy’s, the popular tavern, reopened at its new location on the corner of Chapel and Howe on May 4.