Last New Haven Blue State replaced by G Cafe as chain closes entirely
The popular chain’s remaining locations in New Haven, Hartford and Providence have now closed. G Cafe will take over the Orange Street storefront.
Khuan-Yu Hall, Contributing Photographer
After shuttering its three remaining cafes in New England, Blue State Coffee has retired from the coffee scene entirely.
The East Rock location on Orange Street will be taken over by G Cafe, which currently operates four other locations in the state. The chain will also take over Blue State’s Hartford location. A location in Providence, Rhode Island near the campus of Brown University has also now closed.
“After 18 years, this is bittersweet, because even though this is the right time for us to make this transition we will miss being part of our communities and serving our customers,” Blue State CEO Carolyn Greenspan told the News.
Greenspan says that she has introduced Common Grounds and G Cafe owners to managers and employees at Blue State’s stores. Both Common Grounds and G Cafe have expressed intent to hire former Blue State employees, although Greenspan said she is not privy to their hiring plans.
Owner and founder of G Cafe Andrea Corazzini said that the expansion comes after about six weeks of negotiations with Blue State and laying plans for the new space. The Orange St. location will be G Cafe’s fifth location, joining existing bakery cafes in New Haven and Branford and a kiosk in Tweed Airport.
As New Haven has grown, and new apartments have sprung up, Corazzini said he has seen his cafes become much more crowded. He hopes that by opening another cafe and bakery they will be able to meet the demand that has grown for G Cafe’s coffee and baked goods.
Corazzini, who was born in Italy and has lived in the New Haven area for 12 years, says he is also excited about the Orange St. location because it comes with an existing customer base, the one that Blue State has developed. To cater to that customer base, Corazzini plans to maintain hours similar to those Blue State did.
Last month, some employees from the first three closed Blue States were unsure about whether they would have jobs with Common Grounds.
The News spoke to two employees at the recently opened Common Grounds on Wall St. who said they had just moved to New Haven and did not previously work at Blue State. Common Grounds management was unable to comment.
At the Orange St. location, employees were optimistic about G Cafe and their new owner.
“[G Cafe] gave us applications, so it seems like they will take the whole team,” one employee said.
Corazzini echoed these sentiments, saying that they are very interested in hiring the former employees of the Orange St. cafe and former employees of other Blue States around New Haven.
“We have a lot of opening positions,” Corazzini said. “If any other baristas from any other Blue States feel that Common Grounds is not making time and feel that they might catch this train, they are more than welcome to stop by.”
Many students found Blue State’s permanent and total closure unexpected.
“I think it’s really surprising that a local chain with such a strong community presence is shutting down completely,” said Katelyn DeKeersgieter ’25. “I’m a little disappointed, but I had already made my peace with the absence of $8 Blue State lattes in my life when the locations closest to campus closed.”
Corazzini said that he foresees a challenge in transforming the feel of a “study hall” into that of a cafe.
“A coffee shop bakery is a place where you go and talk with friends,” Corazzini said. “And you share moments and stories and enjoy coffee and food.”
G Cafe plans to open at 534 Orange St. on Wednesday.