State House concert hall in New Haven remains dark

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NEW HAVEN – As life continues to return to normal in downtown New Haven and the rest of the country, things aren’t exactly the way they used to be – and some things remain unclear.

One of them is the fate of The State House concert hall on State and Chapel streets, which like all other Connecticut bars that weren’t also restaurants, has been closed for at least 14 months. from mid-March 2020.

When Connecticut bars were given the green light to reopen from May 19 and the drinks started to flow as the crowds began to return, the State House remained dark, along with a few other venues including Toad’s Place. .

Toad’s Place has since announced plans to reopen in August, after securing nearly $ 1 million in combined loans from the federal Small Business Administrations Shuttered Venues Operators Grants, or SVOG, and Paycheck Protection Program.

Carlos Wells, left, and Slate Ballard, owners of the 300-seat concert hall, The State House, in October 2018.

Peter Hvizdak / Hearst Connecticut Media File

Owner Brian Phelps said Toad’s expects to open for a dance party on August 20 and a local band show on August 21, and will perform their first tour acts the following week.


But the State House, which brought both international and local world music – often music that no one else had reserved – to State Street for more than two years before the coronavirus pandemic don’t close it, stay dark.

Owners Carlos Wells and Slate Ballard did not respond to multiple calls for comment.

But don’t count the State House just yet.

Phelps said he’s working with the owners of The State House on their own SVOG app, which could give them a boost in trying to reopen.

“I helped them as best I could. It just takes a long time, ”said Phelps. “I hope they will understand.”

Getting money can make a big difference for sites big and small trying to get over more than a year without money.

In New Haven, according to a federal SBA database, Toad’s Place received a grant of $ 748,343, the Long Wharf Theater received a grant of $ 207,181, Cafe Nine at State & Crown Street received a grant of $ 98,648, the New Haven Symphony Orchestra received a grant of $ 64,811, Northway Restaurant Companies at 212 Crown Street received $ 25,939 and Fernando Pinto Enterprises, an independent promoter, received $ 5,566.

The State House has an entrance at 310 State St. but a business address around the corner at 760 Chapel St.

The entrance to the State House in New Haven pictured on July 16, 2021.

The entrance to the State House in New Haven pictured on July 16, 2021.

Arnold Gold / Hearst Connecticut Media

State Department of Consumer Protection licensing records show the State House, like many places in Connecticut, allowed its liquor license to expire during the pandemic.

The State House’s liquor license is under voluntary suspension due to closure due to the pandemic and a delay in obtaining inspection and approval from the fire department. The suspension “is not linked to any enforcement action,” said Consumer Protection Ministry spokeswoman Kaitlyn Krasselt.

On Friday, “they have not been in contact with us about the renewal of this license,” Krasselt said.

The entrance to the State House in New Haven pictured on July 16, 2021.

The entrance to the State House in New Haven pictured on July 16, 2021.

Arnold Gold / Hearst Connecticut Media

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