December 28th, 2011 | City

Richter’s will reopen “before the snow melts”

Chapel Street hangout Richter's will reopen sometime in early 2012, according to its new owner.
Chapel Street hangout Richter's will reopen sometime in early 2012, according to its new owner. Photo by YDN.

Six months after turning off its tap, historic Chapel Street pub Richter’s is slated to re-open under new management in early 2012, the New Haven Independent reported Wednesday.

John Ginetti, co-owner of 116 Crown, took over Richter’s last summer with hopes of revitalizing the bar, famous for its 150-year history in downtown New Haven and for serving half yards of beer. Ginetti said in August he hoped to reopen Richter’s sometime in the fall, but found it in worse condition than he anticipated. The barroom tiles were “caked black” and the old kitchen could not accommodate crowds, he said. Now Ginetti’s working to fix this lack of “infrastructure,” replacing the kitchen equipment and much of the venue’s flooring, he told the Independent.

As he rebuilds Richter’s, Ginetti is also working to preserve its history. Opened in 1858, the bar was renamed the Taft Tap Room when it became a part of the Hotel Taft in 1910. It survived Prohibition as a speakeasy, but closed its doors in 1970. The bar was reopened by undergrad H. Richter Elser ’81 in 1983 and became a popular campus hangout. Ginetti told the Independent that many of the pub’s historic decorations will stay, including a moose shot by Elser’s maternal grandfather in 1908 and a collection of crew paraphernalia from Elser’s days on the Yale men’s crew team.

“The bones of the place are really quite fantastic,” Yale spokesman Michael Morand ’87 DIV ’93 said in August. “It’s not as if you can really go in and do a radical makeover.”

Ginetti told the Independent the new Richter’s will be open “before the snow melts.” We’re hoping that means it will be open in time for Feb Club.