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Jan 19, 2011 11:08 AM

John Harvard's - Manchester, CT

I just read in the paper that John Harvard's closed last weekend, has been purchased "by a single owner" and will be remodeled and reopen as a "standalone brew pub and tavern with a new name, new logo, and new opportunities." If anyone has the inside scoop, please let the rest of us know. Thanks!

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  1. Centerplate bought the chain, but an individual did buy the Manchester location. The closing was because of a burst water pipe in the kitchen. We've been assured that changes will only be for the good. Mug club is staying, brewer is staying. There will be a new menu. I think they were still working on the name change through legal channels..

    1 Reply
    1. re: dugbee

      And the beer is the main reason for visiting anyway. Frank has done an excellent job with the beers since settling in after Chris J. left.

      1. re: nantucketbeerguy

        Yes, the brewer reported on Beer Advocate that the shutdown was due to a water issue that detroyed an electrical box of some sort and they would reopen after it was fixed. Also gave an update on the sale.
        "Yes, we are closed until Wednesday or Thursday. Yes we are becoming an individualy owned brew pub. BUT, the 2 items are unrelated.

        We closed on Saturday due to a water pipe that burst and in a 1 in 1000 shot it ran all over an electric panel which also needs to be replaced now. Boucou dollars. Insert Sad Face. We hope to be up and running by Thursday.

        As for the "sale", we have been sold off and breaking away from the chain. This was alluded to in the past Yankee Brew News. As I mentioned to Todd, I didnt put together a press release as details are still being worked out such as name, and finalized concept."

      2. John Harvard's was awful..I went there twice for work functions and twice I was served a burned burger. Awesome.

        I hope this new place pans out!

        1. Well, newspaper reported that they "may" be reopening after Wednesday, but also reported that remodeling would be involved. Hard to know what's going on. I wish they'd put a patio outside. A lot of cycling groups ride out from the plaza across the street, and a patio would increase their business. All of us sweaty cyclists would have a place to go close by for a bite and a beer! :-)

          8 Replies
          1. re: Quint41

            I don't think the town will allow a patio. Hooters wanted to put one in since they opened and the town has denied their request. The are the only one in the state without a patio.

            1. re: jcanino

              You're kidding me. No, wait, I live there. I live the stupid politics. If Mickey Mouse ran for office in Manchester, he'd get voted in. I am sure you are not kidding. Two restaurants surrounded by a commuter parking lot, highway entrance ramp, and JC Penny Distribution center. What the heck could the problem be with a patio?! I think Boston Pizza has a patio right across the street. ARGH!

              1. re: Quint41

                Is Bostons across the town line in South Windsor?

                1. re: jcanino

                  I thought maybe you were onto something, but I consulted a map and the Boston's Pizza website, and it just this side of the Manchester line.

                  1. re: Quint41

                    It was a thought. I know that I have spoken to the manager at Hooters (great wings! REALLY!!) several times about a patio and the response is the town says no.

                    1. re: jcanino

                      Maybe it's just THEM, maybe the town doesn't want motorists to be distracted by the waitstaff out on a patio. Enough traffic accidents in that area. <Giggle>
                      Sorry .. disgressing from the subject matter of the board.

                      1. re: Quint41

                        Went to John Harvards aka "Soon to be new name" last night. It was pretty busy. Try the Broken Pipe Bock...I guess a little humor is good! Saw the new owner too. He seemed to be chatting it up with customers a lot. I hope they freshing up the menu.

            2. re: Quint41

              My wife and I went yesterday (Saturday, 22 January) for lunch. We were very satisfied with the Cuban sandwich (excellently flavored pork, ham, cheese, etc on a well crusted toasted bread) and the pulled pork sandwich. The portions were right sized and the fries were crunchy and hot. As for drinks, I had the white ale and my wife had the lite, both great. Our only complaint was the time it took to get attention initially after being seated. After that, service was attentive, but not annoying. We both agreed we would go again and are excited to see what changes the new owner introduces.

            3. Wow this story sounds so much like hops which closed then turned into carsons. Both are brew pubs both used to be owned by chain restaurants. Hopefully the new place wont turn out like carsons which closed a year after it opened.