There were many challenges in bringing this bar back to life, some of ( as you can see in the below photos) were bringing the old wooden cooler back to life, recreating some old carvings & fixing broken carved panels. Many people don’t realize that the actual bar top is original, although mended and epoxied together in many sections, we felt as though the old top told many stories, so it was our goal to do what we could to save it and make it up to code and useable. We stripped it down to bare wood, filled all the holes with epoxy, sanded, stained & installed a new bar rail to clean up the edge. We gave the bar top a conversion varnish finish. Although it is not the way it was done originally, we felt it would offer the most durability for the bar top itself.
The Hotel Taft became the center of New Haven’s popular social life and its proximity to the Shubert Theater and Yale University made it the destination of students, professors, tourists and actors. Some of the famous people who were guests at the Hotel Taft include presidents, actors, writers, producers, scientists and athletes. Woodrow Wilson stayed at the Taft while on his presidential campaign trail in 1912. William Howard Taft, pictured on the upper left, was known to have stayed here while he was searching for a home, while he was a Yale professor in 1914. Babe Ruth, pictured on the top center, stayed at the Taft in 1932 and was completely mobbed outside by young fans. Other notables who have visited the Taft include Humphrey Bogart, Spencer Tracy, The Marx Brothers, Katherine Hepburn, Henry Fonda, Marlon Brando, pictured on the bottom center, Thornton Wilder, Eleanor, Roosevelt, pictured on the bottom left, Jack Dempsey, Albert Einstein, pictured on the top right, and Lou Gehrig. A number of accounts mention that Lincoln came to the New Haven House and likely was a guest here too . CLICK HERE FOR MORE THE AMAZING FULL STORY!
Some other related links:
New Haven Independent – Storied Richter’s Tavern to Open New Chapter
Yale Daily News – Richter’s bar set to reopen
New Haven Independent – Caseus Chef Poised to Revive Richter’s
Chew Haven – Ordinary
New Haven Independent – An Amazing -& “Ordinary” – Powder House Day
The New Journal – Of All the Gin Joints in this Town