It anchors the Westville neighborhood of New Haven, CT so perfectly, both figuratively and literally, it, being the most ideal spot in the area and perhaps the entire city to come for drinks with friends, family and strangers. And it sits in the center of the Y intersection where Fountain meets Whalley, in the heart of New Haven's second, unofficial, and much smaller down town.
I first set foot in Delaney's Taproom & Restaurant in November of 2010 after having packed my entire life into my blue Honda Civic to embark on a journey to a new job and new life in Connecticut. I bought a small wooden dining table with two chairs from Ikea, and four and a half pain staking hours later, after I was done building it, well, let's just say I needed a drink. I wanted nothing more than a six-pack I could Youtube to, while sitting at my new creation, a creation which in fact was literally the only piece of furniture I had (besides an air mattress). And so I went to the liquor store, but alas, it was 9:30 pm, and more importantly, it was Sunday, and this is two years before the CT legislature voted to allow alcohol sales on Sundays. I then stopped in to Delaney's. It was a decent crowd, I remember. I stood there for a few minutes, waiting, till the attractive brunette behind the bar noticed me and walked over.
"Hi, what can I get ya?" she asked.
I replied, "I just want a six-pack to go actually, what do you have to go?"
She looked at me, puzzled and confused.
"Wait, like, do you want six beers...now?"
You see, I'm from Pennsylvania. We have a system there in which the state government controls liquor and wine. So if you want a bottle of merlot, a handle of Jack, or both (wild night that would be) you'd have to go to a "state store." Seriously. And if you want a 24-pack of beer, you'd need to go to a beer distributor. This system is inconvenient, inefficient, and it does virtually nothing to lower prices. But, for as outdated and stupid as this concept is, they kinda make up for it, with the ability to, if one is so inclined, grab a six or twelve pack from the bar. It comes in handy, say, if your party is still going strong at 1 am but your keg just got kicked. Or it's after hours and you want a drink but don't feel like sitting at the bar.
So you see, on this night nearly four years ago, myself and the bar tender were equally confused. Once she explained to me that "to go" beer just wasn't going to happen for me, at least not in this state, I sat down and ordered a Sea Hag IPA. This was the start of a beautiful friendship between myself and IPA beer in general. It was also the first time I'd had or even heard of Sea Hag, which still, to this day, is my favorite beer of all time. Most importantly, however, this was my first of many nights at Delaney's.
At Delaney's, the atmosphere is always, for lack of a better word, chill. There is something for everyone here. Darts, pool, fine and family dining, an unheard of happy hour complete with two for one craft beers and 25 cents a piece buffalo wings, some of the tastiest wings I've ever had. Cool and knowledgeable tenders, an extremely personable wait staff, a lovely patio for gorgeous summer nights, and a menu that is nothing less than a consistent batch of delicacies. At Delaney's, you can have mimosas and brunch in the beginning of a Saturday morning, leave hand in hand with a beautiful woman at the end of a Thursday night, and everything in between. Delaney's is the only establishment in which, not only am I unafraid to divulge, but proud to admit, that I am, indeed, a regular.