The 2019 New Haven Hall of Fame Inductees

On the mean streets of the Elm City, only the strong survive. For every Cask Republic is a Hop Knot. For every Christopher Martin’s, a Carmen Anthony’s.

(Yet despite all odds, Canditopia remains open?!)

Today, we celebrate the bars, restaurants, and stores which have stood the test of time and endured the many, many unfulfilled dreams of the New Haven Colosseum Parking Lot.

This won’t include super obvious places like Pepe’s and Louis’ Lunch. I’m not going to add any hot takes about them that you haven’t already heard a million times before. You should try them if if you haven’t. If you have a chance to eat a historical burger, you have to do it.

Of course, by awarding these places,I almost certainly bring them doom, but hey, with great power something something.


As usual, there is no cash prize, but if you want, I’ll make up a nice Photoshopped award for your website.

Claire’s Corner Copia

Claire didn’t mean to make a vegetarian icon. But hey, sometimes you just make great, healthy food, and people just keep coming back. It probably doesn’t hurt that it is literally next to Yale.

Mmmm fake meat.

Since 1975, Claire’s has been serving food to New Haven. It didn’t start vegetarian, but I can’t find any information on when that changed, and I’m not a real journalist sooooo.

Now, it’s recognized as a spot to get kosher, vegetarian and vegan food that somehow tricks me into thinking I’m eating a meat burrito. No! I accidentally ingested healthy vegetables! Bah, get them out!

There’s regularly a line out the door and I assume the only thing endangering Claire’s Corner Copia is whatever Claire’s succession plan is (Games of Thrones-style?) and also I cannot even fathom what Yale is charging rent on College and Chapel.


Of course a pizza place/bar/nightclub should not exist. Nobody is arguing that.

But here we are, in this universe, and not only does it exist, but it somehow thrives at all of these things.

Watch people gasp as they try a mashed potato pizza for the first time. Laugh along with them as they play pool and watch college football!

Now that youv’e had dinner and a few beers, you suddenly feel like dancing! Surely you would have to leave and go find a new bar, right? Right?!


You wander through the maze of young people in tight clothing only to discover a full nightclub in the back of this pizza restaurant?! Well hey at least you managed to avoid paying cover!

This is pre-smell.

There are few sure things in this world. But there being a line of young people freezing their ass off on a Friday night waiting to get into Bar is one of them.

Owl Shop

People don’t talk about the Owl Shop like they do Pepe’s or Louis’ Lunch, despite it being just as legendary. Maybe it’s a family-friendly thing.

After all, you probably shouldn’t give your kid a cigar. Unless you want them to look cool.

The only thing missing here is a pack of Marlboro Reds

As a former smoker, I avoid it like the plague (Fun Fact: You body totally remembers nicotine!), but you have to be impressed there is a bar which somehow still allows smoking in 2019 and also makes really good coffee. I, for one, admire their stance against constipation.

Plus, the outdoor spot is a great place to make sure the rest of College Street also smells like cigars. Win win?

Merwin’s Art Shop

Since 1934 (???), Merwin has been framing pictures and prints, which is apparently a lucrative business model, immune to the macroeconomic changes of globalization and automation?

Or perhaps there is something more nefarious. Merwin’s Art Shop? Perhaps a front for an underground dark wizard fight club?!

The inside of Merwin’s, for all I know

Even the website seems to be 20 years old but hey that doesn’t seem to be stopping them from framing OJ for MURDER.

Okay, I’m sorry.


That concludes the Inaugural Class of the Between Two Rocks New Haven Hall of Fame. Who will make it next year? Cask Republic? Pacifico? Canditopia?!? Hahaha. ha… ha.

See you next time, loves.