Elm City Social: “stepping into the bar is like stepping into a time machine”
Jessica Pellegrino – General Assignment Reporter
When you walk into Elm City Social, you are welcomed by its history. From the prohibition era map on the ceiling to the historical decor, stepping into the bar is like stepping into a time machine.
Bar managing partner, Ryan Howard, believes that Elm City Social offers something special to the patron.
“In the early 1900s, this place was Kasey’s Restaurant,” said Howard. “Kasey’s was a very well-known spot for socialites, celebrities and politicians, because the Hotel Taft used to be right across the street.”
Politicians and movie stars would frequent Kasey’s to socialize. According to Howard, Kasey’s significance lasted well through prohibition times. The celebrity clientele of the establishment made it the go-to spot in New Haven. People often went hoping to catch a glimpse of someone important.
Before the space was Elm City Social, it was Briq restaurant. Howard said, “We came in and we picked up a lot of broken pieces, to make it what it is today. We implemented policy, structure and redid the whole building.”
Elm City Social sits on the corner of Chapel St. and College St. With bars like Elm City Social, the Owl Shop, Ordinary and soon to be a reopened Anchor Bar, this area of New Haven is aptly being called the “New Haven Cocktail Corner.”
Elm City Social allows people to revisit what New Haven was and what it still is. It really is an inviting place,” said Howard.
Howard believes that every restaurant in New Haven has something to offer the community. He said, “What you will find with us though, is we take the rich history of New Haven’s past and present and what is to come. We throw it all together. I like to think that we provide an experience to our customers. You are getting the best of the past and the present.”
And they do it successfully. Elm City Social offers an inviting speakeasy feel, with hand crafted cocktails that send you back 80 years, while keeping you seated in the 20th century, with their electro-swing remixes of popular songs.
Elm City Social is not just a spot to hit on the weekends either. On Tuesday nights, the bar hosts Trivia competitions and on Thursdays you can come play Cards Against Humanity, all for a shot at a gift card.
“I believe a lot of students are looking to have that night out. They want to have a couple drinks and go dancing. We are trying out theme parties. We are having a Release the Kraken Halloween Party, which will be pirate themed and we’ll be introducing special Kraken based cocktails,” said Howard.
Howard believes students need to see that Elm City Social is a completely different offering from the norm.
“Maybe you want something new. Maybe you are tired of the same three bars that play the same music. History is what keeps New Haven thriving. Come to Elm City Social for that different experience at least for one night, come and visit this corner. Maybe not even Elm City Social. Just visit the corner.”
Photo Credit: Ryan Howard