In the wake of Elm City staples Educated Burgher and A-1 Pizza’s closing this summer, two new eateries are set to open down the street at 9 Dixwell Ave.
The University acquired the property at 9 Dixwell, which formerly housed Broadway Liquor and the Sound Tracks Cafe, in November 2011, but it has not yet leased the space. Since the property is located in a district zoned for residential use, the University sought special approval from the Board of Zoning Appeals in order to open the restaurants.
The BZA granted the request at its July 8 meeting, and Assistant Director for New Haven and State Affairs Lauren Zucker said in an email this week that the University is “close to leasing the space” to two restaurants.
Although Zucker could not reveal exactly which restaurants will take over the space, she was confident the spaces — located just around the corner from the Ray Tompkins House — would cater to students and Elm City residents alike.
“They are both fast casual type restaurants with affordable price points and should appeal to the whole community, including students, shoppers and residents in the surrounding Broadway and Dixwell districts,” Zucker said in an email.
She said the two restaurants will have separate spaces in the ground floor below a four-story apartment building.
Dixwell Alder Jeanette Morrison expressed her support for the new restaurants in her ward by sending a letter to the BZA discussing the benefits of opening two new restaurants. She said the new businesses will increase economic development and create more jobs for New Haven residents.
Morrison said the University approached her early in the summer to discuss their plans and the impact the new businesses would have on the Dixwell community. Although Yale did not reveal the names of the restaurants to Morrison, she anticipates they will be in a similar price range of Popeyes, the fried chicken restaurant located on Whalley.
“[The University] knows that the type of restaurant we are looking for is one that everyone can go to,” Morrison said.
The announcement of these two new restaurants comes just a week after students voiced their disappointment with Yale for bringing in two international retailers to the Broadway shopping district. In late July, the University announced that Italian cosmetics store Kiko Milano and the high-end clothing store Emporium DNA would open at 1 Broadway this fall. Following that announcement, all 17 students interviewed said they were not satisfied with the establishments Yale chose to occupy the space.
In contrast, most students said they were pleased with the University’s decision to open two “fast casual restaurants” — 10 of 12 students interviewed said they would be happy with this type of addition to off-campus dining.
Mieke Scherpbier ’16, who is a member of the women’s crew team, said she hopes that the new restaurants will offer quick breakfast and lunch options at affordable prices. She added that when she walks to practice in the morning there are very few places open.
“Since Au Bon Pain closed down and Gourmet Heaven [is] moving out, we really need an equivalent place on that side of campus to supplement spots on Chapel,” Scherpbier said.
Business owners in the surrounding area said the Dixwell neighborhood offers an eclectic mix of customers, including Yale students, parents staying at the Courtyard Marriott and residents who frequent the nearby church. According to multiple sources, the neighborhood has become safer and more attractive to students during the past four years.
The Dixwell neighborhood includes a significant portion of the Yale campus, including Morse College, Ezra Stiles College, Payne Whitney Gymnasium and Ingalls Rink.