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Fill The Spot: 158 State Street

Restaurant and pub space on State Street remains empty

It looks like it could be a very classy restaurant and pub, and indeed the realty advertisements and layout of the interior suggest that this might be the best use. But the building at 158 State Street has seen other uses in the past.

A plaque from the Historic Waterfront District Heritage Trail puts the construction date at about 1771, making it the oldest building on State Street. The plaque goes on to say that it once held Timothy Green's print shop, which cranked out one of the earliest newspapers published in Connecticut. For more on Green, don't miss Johnna Kaplan's former .

Since then, other businesses at the address have included Tate & Neilan (the "New London Hatters"), an office for the Alling Rubber Co., and a florist. A slew of restaurants tried to make a go of it in the late 20th century, but none of them were able to hold on. Oh, and as seems to be the case with so many places around here, it might be haunted.

In recent years, signs at the property suggested that it would be opening up as the brewpub 1771 Tap & Grille. Unfortunately, these plans fell through and the space is now listed by Pequot Commercial.

The interior space includes a staircase to a second floor and an ornate bar. It measures 4,414 square feet and is part of New London's central business district.

What would you like to see here? Let us know in the comments.

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Clark van der Lyke August 11, 2012 at 09:55 PM
We have a bunch of museums and art venues in New London and still looking for the Coast Guard Museum to find a location. It wont be in this building as it is structurally insufficient for a large number of people. No matter, there is no money to be made in investing in another museum with no parking. Made a nice restaurant for a while. Patch research missed that it was used as a set in a poor movie with James Woods called Killers, I believe.
David Irons August 12, 2012 at 01:14 PM
We already had a classy restaurant there which my wife and I loved. It was the Le Papillon. Bring it back..
Georgiana McGlinchey August 12, 2012 at 01:54 PM
People from outside of New London won't come in in the evening unless they have a place to park...ala Tony D's. If you could provide that, a moderately priced restaurant with a theme would be appreciated, like a piano bar. New London doesn't have a great seafood restaurant downtown for lobster and such! The history of the building and the area...such an opportunity if NL was more business friendly...
David Irons August 12, 2012 at 02:47 PM
Georgiana, I agree that perhaps NL could use a good seafood restaurant downtown. But there are even fewer good restaurants in NL or the surrounding area for good Continental cuisine. That is what Le Papillon offered when it was in operation at 158 State Street. As much as we might complain about NL, perhaps some class might be just what the little city needs.
Daniella Ruiz August 13, 2012 at 03:56 PM
now now!, New London IS a classy city, perhaps more so than many! just look at it from the perspective of the homeless that find it an irresistable draw! perhaps a bait and tackle shop, with some of the legendary rodmen of the piers sitting out front swapping tales of the tails they have caught, giving advice to the studded and pierced youth on how to catch 'the big one', or telling tales of the city from one who has survived the dark days of the late 80' and 90's (that's the 1980'/90s not 1880's/90's!) and some wise advice on how to put in early signup forms for Mohegan Arms, AHEPA and other off-street shackups. or maybe a French style bakery, with loaves of fresh bread wafting in the noses, while a link of new sausages dangles in the front window, tantalizing the passerby. or even a mini MacDonalds, akin to the Walmart size, just big enough to dish out 5 zillion calories at a fraction of the price of the 'specialist' venues that line the street. or make that a walkup MacDonalds take-out, no automobile wanted (but bicycles and motorized wheelchairs allowed!) to evade the nasty health department harassment and zoning clashes. oh well, im sure there's going to be the same blockades to any new business, as well was shown when that mobile hot dog van tried to bust into town. maybe another pawn shop...??? or a permanent location for one of those SailFest types that sells millions of whatever it is that makes those lines so long.

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