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Aug 2, 2012 12:28 PM

Changes in New Haven

As reported in today's New Haven Register:

Leon's Restaurant is leaving Long Wharf and building a new smaller facility in North Haven, AND
Lenny and Joe's Fish Tale is opening in the Long Wharf Space.

Finally,for those fans of Lenny and Joes who are west of the Quinnipiac River there will be no need to fight their away across the Q bridge and sit in traffic all the way to Madison (or further).

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  1. That sounds like a pretty big space for a Lenny & Joe's. I think it will be difficult to keep up the shoreline clam shack atmosphere and attitude in a glossy, glass pavillion. I never cared much for the huge space the Jimmy's built out, and to me, it was never the same. But I suppose after 40 years, it's been proven to work. Maybe Lenny & Joe's will find the same success.

    5 Replies
    1. re: FoodieJim

      I don't see it as a clam shack operation. I think they will push the bar business, and after work cocktail and seafood small plates at the bar crowd.

      1. re: bagelman01

        I'm sure you're right. But when I think of Lenny & Joe's, the model you describe isn't what really comes to mind. But they are certainly entitled to set this up any way they want.

        1. re: FoodieJim

          I'm old enough <VBG> to remember when Jimmie's in Savin Rock was run in the style currently used by Lenny & Joes, BUT West Haven decided to redevelop the Rock, outlaw eating in cars, etc. Jimmie's had to go 'upscale' Inside sitdown dining (and Bar) with real dishes and glassware. 40 years later they're still doing business in the 'new' model.

          1. re: bagelman01

            True enough. But every time you have gone into the "new" Jimmie's, don't you find yourself saying: "I remember when this place was....." I know I do. Silverware and plates will never take the place of cardboard pint boxes and wooden spear-like forks! That's the great thing about memories. Only the good survives.

            1. re: FoodieJim

              No, we generally ate inside at Jimmie's, but dad always complained that they cherged 5 cents for sauerkraut inside, but outside it was free.

              If I was taken to the Rock by my older brother, then we ate in the car. Franks, Fries, Lobster Roll, Honey-dew popcorn and a white Birch Beer and loads of annoying seagulls.

    2. I remember when Leon's moved from Washington Ave to the Spring Glen section of Hamden (where Park Central is currently located). I hope they'll be more successful this time in North Haven.

      1 Reply
      1. re: rbailin

        I also remember when Leon's moved from Dagget and Washington to Whitney Avenue and died a slow death in a cursed location. The current generation of the Varipapa family does not put out a meal comparable to those I remember in the Hill. But by the early 80s you took your life in your hands to visit the original location.
        Growing up, we ate ate Leon's about once every three weeks and I always had Lobster Fra Diablo on the mild side. Served in huge painted Italian pottery bowl over about a pound of linguine for $5.95

      2. Good to hear about Lenny & Joe's. My mom will be thrilled. It has been frustrating to be dragged out to Branford every time Mom got a craving for swordfish or lobster roll.

        I haven't eaten at Leon's for decades and decades. Not since the sexual harassment that went down in that kitchen was made public. I was all ICK and I did not want to eat food made by people like that.

        And speaking of changes in New Haven, has anyone tried Tomatillo?

        1. L&J is going to have to sell a lot of fried clams and beer to cover that lease. The property is owned by the same people as the office building next door. That's one reason why Ed is moving.

          I wish Ed well and will be seeing him soon in North Haven.