Nearly seven months after the Anchor Bar closed its doors to the public on Jan. 5, Yale University Properties announced Wednesday that it had completed a lease agreement with Karl Franz Williams ’97, a cocktail designer who currently runs a bar in Harlem, N.Y.
The storied restaurant and bar will keep its original name, with some changes to the facade at 272 College St. Lauren Zucker, Associate Vice President for New Haven Affairs and University Properties, said in a press release that the University sought to strike a balance between preserving the bar’s history and architecture and bringing a fresh presentation to the space.
“As promised, we were committed to identifying an operator who would meet the needs of our community and we are delighted to welcome the new Anchor to New Haven,” she said.
The iconic neon sign, however, will not be handed over to Williams, as he had hoped. It will stay in the hands of the family that kept the bar running for the better part of a century.
Charlie Moore, one of the original family owners, said in the release that he was delighted that Williams was going to continue the bar’s traditions.
Williams currently owns 67 Orange Street, which opened in Harlem in 2008. The Yale graduate has also designed cocktails for the Yale Club of New York, D’USSE Cognac and a number of other clients.
Williams said that he looks forward to bringing a “new world vibe” to the food and beverages his team will serve.
“As a Yale graduate, it is extremely exciting for me to re-invigorate this concept for New Haven,” he said in the release. “I look forward to becoming a part of the diverse cultural fabric that makes New Haven great.”
The bar, in its new capacity as a “campus-community concept,” will offer simple, classic menu items — including salads, sandwiches and small plates along with a “unique mixology concept.”
The Anchor is expected to open in the fall, and it will do business seven days a week.