New Haven's Historic Bar Reopens: Welcome Back Anchor Spa

Amy Kundrat

It's back.

Anchor Spa, one of New Haven's most iconic drinking establishments has been brought back to life thanks to Yale alumnus and restauranteur Karl Franz Williams (67 Orange Street, Solomon & Kuff). Renovated with an emphasis on evoking the 1930's spirit of the original Anchor Spa while infusing the space with thoughtful modern touches, Anchor Spa is poised to take its place among Connecticut's most stylish and storied bars.  

The 2016 iteration of the Anchor is a much more refined iteration that the one we all knew and loved, having polished the rougher edges of its previous decades by doubling-down on talent and style. Award-winning mixologist Dimitrios Zahariadis is at the helm of its globally-inspired cocktail bar, while the menu looks to be a short list of "international street food." 

The cocktail list is a bit of an around-the-world experience. The $13 cocktails represent cities such as Piraeus (Greece), Shanghai (China), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) and of course New Haven. The latter, named the "Yale Beets Harvard," is a combination of rum, beets, molasses, and orange acid.

The opening menu is neatly divided into hemispheres, with a grilled octopus, asian-spiced duck breast and fish and chips representing the east while a cioppino, braised bison tacos, and clam flatbreads are holding down the west. 

And let's talk about that style. The 60-seat space, designed by Deverell Smith, former Director of Architecture at Tiffany & Co., preserves some of the vibe of the original Anchor with posh updates including Carrera marble tiles and dark wood sprinkled with antique artifacts and artwork from the local English Building Market.

We'll be back soon with a full report.

Anchor Spa is located at 272 College Street in New Haven. Information at 203-821-7065 or