Yale’s first effort to integrate commercial property into a residential building, the Manchester Grill — a sports-themed restaurant specializing in U.S. bistro food — is slated to open in the Broadway District this winter, University Properties announced Wednesday.
Operated by the co-owners of Chapel Street’s Pacifico Restaurant, Moe Gad and Rafael Palomino, Manchester Grill will occupy the retail space in the Elm Street Annex adjacent to Davenport College, which currently houses displaced Silliman College students. The restaurant will offer flatscreen televisions for sports enthusiasts, an open kitchen and moderately priced entrees.
“Manchester Grill will have a completely different feel from Pacifico,” Gad said in a statement issued Wednesday. “We’ll be serving quality comfort food for both lunch and dinner in a more casual atmosphere.”
Director of Marketing for University Properties Shana Schneider ’00 said officials chose the restaurant after conducting extensive research through focus groups drawn from local universities and New Haven residents.
“It fits this kind of niche that people were looking for,” Schneider said. “You can go and comfortably watch games, but you also … can find chicken wings, you can get a steak that isn’t too expensive, you can get a really good hamburger.”
The restaurant will also have a liquor license and a small bar, Director of University Properties David Newton said.
Newton said University Properties was particularly interested in bringing a restaurant to Broadway because it would provide increased foot traffic for the area late into the night, he said.
“It doesn’t just speak to students,” Newton said. “It will attract a broader spectrum of people. … A restaurant will stay open well into the evening and keep the street lit and vibrant, and that’s important for the whole Broadway feel.”
The building housing the annex space and the restaurant was specially designed so that students would not be disturbed by restaurant traffic, Newton said.
“There’s been actually quite a bit of care and expense to insulate the restaurant from the dorms,” he said. “There was this box-within-a-box [design] that was constructed to minimize noise level in a manner that probably goes beyond what was necessary but that we thought would be good for the students.”
To ensure privacy and security, the annex space and restaurant have separate entrances and are not directly connected, Newton said.
Davenport resident James Gerson ’07 said he and other Pierson and Davenport seniors are excited to have access to a restaurant with a small bar, especially in the winter when cold weather makes leaving the dorm for a drink unattractive. He said the restaurant will also add welcome diversity to Broadway’s offerings.
“One of the problems with Broadway is that it’s all too cheap,” Gerson said. “All the other moderately priced places, like Thai Taste, are a little further away. Stuff on Broadway seems to be just the cheapest, greasiest food around. If it’s a little more expensive but higher quality, that’s great.”
Tyler Theofilos ’08, an annex resident, said he does not think the restaurant will cause disruptions but is still unsure whether he will patronize the restaurant.
“I’ll have to wait to see what the restaurant is like,” Theofilos said. “It depends on the type of customers that it draws, if it’s like a sports bar, an older crowd, or if it’s more people from the college.”
Phoebe Rounds ’07, who also lives in the annex space, said she is also unsure whether she will dine at the restaurant, but thinks a moderately priced restaurant is a good use of the space.
“I’m supportive of the idea of mixed-use retail and residential building,” she said. “It would be nice if not only Yalies but also folks from throughout the New Haven community patronized the restaurant.”