Yale shuts out Broadway Liquor

Yalies will soon be forced to look beyond the Broadway shopping district to buy alcohol, as the University has refused to renew the popular Broadway Liquor’s lease, forcing the store to relocate.

Yale University Properties — the office that manages Yale’s portfolio of residential and commercial properties — acquired Broadway Liquor’s current space in November and decided that month not to allow the store to renew its lease with its previous landlord, which is set to expire later this year, UP director Abigail Rider said in an email to the News.

“We will not be seeking a liquor store tenant for that location as we do not feel that liquor stores are the best use of UP’s locations near campus,” Rider said.

The property in question is abutted on three sides by Yale-owned parcels and it was the only space in the block adjacent to Payne Whitney Gymansium not owned by the University before November. Rider said that it was a logical step for the University to purchase the property when its former owner put it up for sale. She added that the property will undergo significant repairs before Yale seeks a new tenant to move in.

The liquor store is currently seeking a new storefront location to reestablish the business.

Property acquisition followed by selective tenant decisions is not a new occurrence for Yale. UP is known to have specific selection criteria when attracting new retailers to occupy Yale-owned storefronts, and the office is tight-lipped about which prospective tenants they are negotiating with.

“To me [UP’s selectivity] is a mystery,” Bill Kalogeridis, the former owner of Copper Kitchen on Chapel Street, told the News in Feburary 2010, eight months before his Chapel Street restaurant was not allowed to renew its lease with the University.

According to its website, University Properties has over 500 residential properties in its portfolio and over 85 retail tenants. Yale is one of the largest commercial property taxpayers in New Haven, paying over $4 million annually.

Student reaction to the news of Broadway Liquor’s relocation was mixed. Of nine students interviewed, six said that buying liquor would become more inconvenient for them without a retailer in the Broadway area.

Students also expressed diverse opinions regarding the amount of influence Yale has in downtown’s New Haven retail development.

“I think Yale has a done a nice job targeting tenants to fill the retail spaces along Broadway, and I’m guessing they’ll do fine with this space, too,” Derek Walker ’12 said. “It’s Yale’s property, so I’m fine with them doing what they want with it.”

Other students said they took issue with a percieved lack of input that non-Yale-affiliated city residents have on the development of their city. Eric Caine ’14 said that permanent residents of New Haven should be represented in the decision-making process, as they “have more [of a] stake in the city” than Yale administrators.

Elm Campus Partners, Yale’s real estate management arm, is working with the University on its plans to renovate the Dixwell property. Rider said Yale wants to have a modernized space in which a retailer or retailers can operate so that the streetscape will not “go dark.”

University Properties was established in 1996 as an extention of the University’s Office of New Haven and State Affairs.


  • JackNH

    Kicking Copper Kitchen out was a travesty. No cheap place for breakfast –or lunch, or dinner– anymore. May make wealthy Yale parents from Scarsdale happy to have a another useless boutique, but how about those of us who LIVE here??

    • Frashizzle

      I’ll agree that the closure of Copper Kitchen (and almost every other thing Yale Properties has done) was unfair. However, this is perhaps their first move that can be justified and makes some sense. A lot of property holdings companies (and universities) don’t like liquor stores for moral reasons (and reasons related to crime rate and property value). But after all the other crap they’ve pulled, it’s hard for me to even support this decision… seriously, nobody wants to go to Jack Wills.

    • es1212

      Patricia’s on Whalley for breakfast and lunch. It’s impossible to spend more than $10 on a meal there.

  • y07hls10

    I will ditto JackNH about Copper Kitchen. That place was like the ur-diner. So perfect. Why you gotta be like that, Yale? What makes New Haven great is the MIX of haute and grit. Broadway Liquor enhances the Apple Store.

    • River_Tam

      How do you know that someone went to Harvard Law School? They tell you.

      • y07hls10

        Adorable. I set up the screen name when they were posting lots of articles about going to law school; it was so I could have the necessary cred when I told people not to go.

  • phantomllama

    Perhaps they could replace Broadway Liquor with a high-end wine store, in order to develop students’ tastes and encourage sophisticated alcohol consumption.

    • alum


      • phantomllama

        I am fully supportive of Yale-funded wine societies that introduce all willing students, regardless of income or background, to the pleasures of fine wine.

        • Frashizzle

          Wine is just a cog in a larger economic signaling game. To actively promote the consumption and enjoyment of wine is to not realize that you’re trapped in the game.

        • jamesdakrn

          Lol Cognac>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>wine

    • nhradar

      Yes. Perhaps they could bring in a Quality Wine Shop to fill out the UP portfolio.

  • eli1

    Pretty sad that the Yale administration is basically screwing over the owners of Broadway Liquors, who have worked extremely hard to earn an honest living in such a terrible economy. Again Yale screws the New Haven little guy in order to attract some high end business which no one will go to. Anyway, I would be surprised if any remotely reputable place decides to open a location that close to Dixwell Ave. Broadway’s current location is pretty much a dump.

  • willowlewis71

    Well, maybe the students can rent some uhauls and find a liquor store afar to bring it back to campus. This was the liquor store even when I was on campus in 1987, and you could walk to it. Now, they will have to drive to it????

    • BoolaHoop

      No U-Hauls anymore!

  • piersonpiersoncollege

    What? Why? What kind of business is going to want to move there anyway?? Kicking out the fine people who run Broadway Liquor is not going to make this edge of campus any safer.

  • Boogs

    First, there are still plenty of liquor stores around campus. There are two on Church that I can think of off-hand, and then there’s the Wine Thief on Crown. Second, no high-end boutique is going to move into this location. It’s not an attractive location and there’s not a lot of foot-traffic by people who shop at boutiques.

  • slatest

    Eric Caine ’14 said that permanent residents of New Haven should be represented in the decision-making process, as they “have more [of a] stake in the city” than Yale administrators.”

    Not to mention that Yale-affiliated residents didn’t get a say either. I think this comment board shows that many of us are not super excited about the pattern of retailers over all and our lack of voice in the issue. Seriously, Gant AND J Press AND all those boutiques on Chapel Street…it seems like a lot of weirdly high end stuff from where I am standing, even for most Yale folks.

  • Jaymin

    Yay! Maybe we’ll get another origami furniture or froyo joint in its place!

  • joey00

    Who owned the building ? Who were the Liquor store’s proprietors ? How much did they buy it for ? Isn’t $4 million only a very small percent of what Yale should be paying on it’s block by block ownership ? ?? Dibs on the Foster Lager sign in the window !!!!!
    It was just last spring that i saw workers carrying a lot of sheetrock up the stairs of that building .Maybe it will force students to take more transit and maybe rent a car to obtain some hootch, maybe some med school affiliate is brewing some in his tub as we speak easy ? Keep it all in house

  • willowlewis71

    I lived in Stiles. Church St is too far a walk. Maybe they should replace it with another store selling cheesy cheap Yale attire.

    • ethanjrt

      Go to Zachary’s, on Elm and Howe.

  • willowlewis71

    Broadway Liquors had the best Meister Brau in the world.

  • BR2013

    Broadway Liquors has one of the best liquor inventories in New Haven. It also doesn’t charge an arm and a leg like College Wine. Thanks Yale. We really need another Gant and Jack Wills.

  • MsMoneypenny

    Back in the ’80s and ’90s, there were SO many great Mom and Pop shops in the area- all of which are gone now, replaced by vanilla overpriced boutiques that I don’t patronize (and from the sound of it, neither do many others) Very depressing landscape. UP has totally wrecked the landscape for most of us.

    And I still miss the Yale Co-Op!

    • gzuckier

      Well, Admissions has determined that prospective students would never attend a university which was not surrounded by the same reassuring environment they were familiar with from the mall across from their high school at home.