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January 18, 2023

The Half Door pub to close on Jan. 23

HBJ Photo | STEVE LASCHEVER A photo of restaurateur Al Gamble stands in one of his Locals 8 Hospitality Group restaurants.

The Half Door, a mainstay in the capital city for 24 years, is closing its doors Jan. 23.

Al Gamble, CEO of Locals 8 Hospitality Group, which owns the establishment, told the Hartford Business Journal Wednesday morning that the restaurant’s revenues were down 40% from pre-pandemic and never recovered.

“It was something we were denying for a long time,” Gamble said of the need to close the European-themed style pub, which is located at 270 Sisson Ave. in Hartford’s west end. “We never really restored to pre-pandemic sales.”

Gamble’s company owns 12 other restaurants, including 10 in Connecticut with one in Washington, D.C. and one in Springfield, Mass.

Gamble said his other restaurants, which includes Butchers and Bakers in Farmington and Tisane in Hartford, “are thriving” financially.

Gamble said those restaurants are doing well because “they all have a more diverse offering and they all serve larger crowds (the Half Door’s occupancy is about 100 people). They also have parking, do a lot of catering and have lunch and dinner and Sunday brunch. Their locations are just stronger.” The Half Door has no parking.

Gamble said closing The Half Door “is bittersweet” as the eatery had many repeat customers. He urges those customers and others to come out this weekend and on Monday, Jan. 23 to get together for the last time and to celebrate. The establishment will be open from 11:30 a.m. Monday to 1 a.m. Tuesday, he said.

“We are going to have food and beer specials,” he said. “There will also be a lot of memories.”

COVID-19 also forced the closure of three other Gamble eateries located in Stamford. Fairfield and Virginia.

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