Owner confirms Anna Liffey’s closes
Popular Irish pub first opened in ’97
NEW HAVEN — Anna Liffey’s, a popular Irish pub known for holding sports watch parties and serving traditional Irish fare, closed its location on Whitney Avenue.
Anna Liffey’s owner Patrick Mansfield said Friday the restaurant was closing as its lease expired. Mansfield did not specify why the lease was not renewed, other than “it wasn’t an option anymore.” The decision was made “just a few days ago,” Mansfield said.
The pub also was known for holding musical performances, open-mic nights and trivia nights. It first was opened in 1997 by three Irish-born friends eager to bring the Irish pub to Greater New Haven and stave off potential homesickness.
Anna Liffey’s last day was Sunday.
“That was it,” Mansfield said solemnly.
After word spread of the bar’s closing this week, people started reaching out, Mansfield added.
“I would like to thank everybody, all the customers over our years,” Mansfield said. “We appreciate them, and they’re wonderful people with great customers. We really appreciate their
support . ... There was so much love from so many people. It’s nice to hear all that.”
Mansfield said there was no animosity or “issues” between him and building owner John W. Colleran. Mansfield said the two are cordial. Colleran was not immediately available for comment Friday.
Mansfield didn’t specify the number of employees who lost jobs due to the closure, only saying it was “less than 10 employees.” He said he believes most of them will be OK and find similar jobs.
Coupled with Trinity Bar’s closure while undergoing repair following a fire, Anna Liffey’s loss leaves Christy’s Irish Pub as the only Irish-style bar and restaurant in downtown New Haven. John Greco, manager at Trinity Bar, said Friday they’re seeking to re-open by Christmas or New Year’s, though he said that could change based on repair progress.
Mansfield said the Playwright Irish Pub in Hamden is another option for locals seeking a nearby Irish pub. “It’s kind of a vacuum,” Mansfield said. “It’s kind of unfortunate.”
An employee at Christy’s earlier this week issued a statement on behalf of its staff on Anna Liffey’s closure. The pub on Orange Street faced criticism earlier this week after posting what many considered an insensitive post on Facebook aimed at Anna Liffey’s closure. Christy’s issued an apology following the backlash.
Christy’s founder, Christy Mulhall, was one of the original co-founders at Anna Liffey’s. Mulhall is no longer associated with his namesake bar.
“We’re sad to see a fellow business close and we extend our deepest sympathies to the staff at Liffey’s,” Christy’s statement said. “It was a home for many and Christy’s first venture with Patrick almost 20 years ago. Many relationships were forged there and cherished here at Christy’s as well.”
Anna Liffey’s other location in Fairfield closed in June. Mansfield said it’s possible they may look to open elsewhere, and said he’s considering relocation. But for now, he’s “taking a breather.”
“We had a good reputation,” Mansfield said. “We’d been here at this location for almost 20 years. I think people just like Anna Liffey’s. They like to come here and have a beer, or a cocktail. Relax. I think there’s always a need for a good place where you can come and relax.”
Outside Anna Liffey’s on Whitney Avenue in downtown New Haven.