Sunday, February 04, 2007

Richter's - New Haven, CT

If you're ever in the mood for a cozy, dark wood, laid-back bar where the bartender treats every patron like he's his or her friend, Richter's is just that.

I walked into Richter's with Keith after walking around in the freezing cold, and this place was just what I was looking for. It was about 2pm and we were quite surprised that there weren't two seats open for us to sit in, but no problem, we could stand. There were two sets of taps, and on one of the bar shelves were empty bottles showing us which other choices we had. Keith ordered a pint of Newcastle Brown Ale on tap, and asked the bartender for a bottle of Magner's Irish Cider, my very favorite hard cider.

As we sipped our drinks, we took some time to look around and enjoy our surroundings. The wall behind us bore a display of several oars from Yale's past crew teams. Scattered below, amongst old-time beer ads and photos, were a few other bits of Yale memorabilia.

Across that wall and behind the bar, we saw intricate shelves with all kinds of interesting glass shapes and styles. One of those, which they appropriately called the Half Yard, was just that: It was thin and half a yard tall, and was held up by a wooden contraption that the waitress used to carry it to one of the tables of Yale students in the decent-sized back room. This, my friends, is for serious beer drinkers... or people who really want to get drunk. Either way, this gave the place a bit of a twist, and made it a little different than other bars that are similar in style.

After a bit of standing around, talking, and taking in the view, we noticed that some seats had cleared up so we settled ourselves in. After a little while, the bartender noticed that we were running low on drinks and asked us if we'd like another round. Attentive bartenders make me happy. That's one of the reasons for sitting at the bar. I've been to a place or two where sitting at the bar didn't make it any easier to get a drink. Fighting for the bartender's attention is not something I love to do.

Anyway, fresh drink in hand, I began to look around a bit again and I was a bit surprised to notice a giant moose head hanging above Keith's head. We had to get a picture of that one. A bar with a stuffed moose head hanging proudly on its wall is okay in my book.

We were really having a great time -- the atmosphere made that easy -- but we noticed that we were going to run out of time in our metered parking spot. We asked the bartender if we could pay out and get some change to fill the meter. He informed us that even though the street signs don't say it, no one ever checks the meters on Saturdays. Now, in all honesty I was slightly concerned that he might be wrong, but Keith reassured me that there would be no reason for him to lie to us and he hasn't given us any reason not to trust him, so we stayed.

Some time later, after a few more drinks and lots of strange conversations, Keith and I decided it was time to take a walk and see if this were not the only awesome bar in New Haven. Unfortunately, at least in the fairly immediate area, that seemed to have been it. We sat down and had a quick drink at one place while warming up, but there wasn't much that made us want to stay.

After leaving the other bar, we walked around some more in hopes that we'd missed something, but we ended up coming right back to Richter's where we had a few more drinks and ate some dinner at the bar. I had their dill burger, which was fine, and Keith had a BLT, but I wouldn't make it a point to visit Richter's just for lunch or dinner.

To finish up, Richter's during the late afternoon and early evening is ideal for a throw-your-feet-up kind of bar. It's cozy, friendly, and a place where you can really just relax with a good beer. I loved it.


P.S. I asked the bartender about the crowd at night, and he told me that it gets pretty filled up, but no underagers from the college are allowed in and so they end up with a 24-and-up sort of crowd since the 21s and 22s want to go drink with their underage friends. I really would have liked to have been able to check out the place at night, but we had a 2-hour drive back home, so it was time to head out around 9pm for us.


Blogger Edenbayer said...

Great story, loved the pix. Go really well with the site. Next time in New Haven will check the place out

Monday, February 05, 2007 10:32:00 PM  
Blogger Keith said...

The only drawback, as Vicky mentioned, was that we really didn't get to check the place out during peak hours. We did stay until around 8:30-9 PM, but it didn't seem like the night crowd (if indeed there is one) had showed up yet.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007 9:09:00 PM  

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