by: Analisa Novak
The popular Allyn Street in Downtown Hartford just got a little quieter as the popular bar Black Bear Saloon reportedly has closed its doors, according to workers.
Sources who work for the bar confirmed that they received a text from the owners stating that they will not be needed this week, and that they will be closing its doors. Multiple nearby restaurants also confirmed that they have seen little to no business or signs of action recently. Black Bear’s doors were also closed on Monday evening, a day that was advertised on their website to be open from 11 a.m to 1:30 a.m.
A facebook post was posted late last monday evening by manager Elizabeth Lombardo that confirmed the closing.
“Just wanted to let everyone know that Black Bear closed the doors today, it sucks but we had a good run.. I’m coming off almost 6 years and my partner in crime is just under me.. life changing to say the least. Just wanted to thank you all for supporting and believing in us ..we had quite the time.”
The closing makes it the fourth bar to shut down in the center downtown Hartford area since 2013, after the first bar Up or On The Rocks was shut down after two fatal shootings.
21-year-old Miguel Delgado, of East Hartford, was shot outside the establishment in August 2013 . Weeks later, a second incident happened that killed Brian Simpe, 19, of Manchester. At the time, Up or On The Rocks allowed people 18 and over into its premises.
“The start of the downhill spiral was when Up or On The Rocks closed down,” said local Hartford DJ Bill Bass. He said he never saw business in that area recover after that.
Four years later, Allyn Street would suffer another fatality as 18-year-old Central Connecticut State University student Taylor Lavoie fell to her death from the roof of The Angry Bull Bar Saloon. Angry Bull closed its doors after the Hartford Police set security measures that would have the bar paying $584 a night for extra security.
Pyur Nightclub would also close down in late 2015 after a decline in business. The emptied nightclub whose patio and ajar windows used to welcome guest from outside now are covered with plywood.
Black Bear Saloon, which was popular among its students for its “all you can drink Thursdays,” has recently been tied into a copyright infringement suit with the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). According to the lawsuit, ASCAP was suing BB Allyn Street LLC, the owners of Black Bear Saloon, along with 10 other bars and restaurants, for $90,000 for knowingly allowing the public performance of copyrighted songs without payment. The suit was filed in the Connecticut district court in New Haven earlier this year.
In a statement released about the suit in April, ASCAP stated that “hundreds of thousands of well-run businesses across the nation recognize the importance of paying music creators to use their music, and understand that it is both the lawful and right thing to do,” Executive Vice President of ASCAP Vincent Candilora said. “However, each of the establishments sued today has decided to use music without compensating songwriters. By filing these actions, ASCAP is standing up for songwriters whose creative work brings great value to all businesses that publicly perform their music.”
Black Bear was one of 10 restaurants named in the suit after it was caught playing Fifth Harmony’s “Worth It” and LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem” and “Sexy and I Know It” without payments for the songs.
The Recorder reached out to Alyssa Berlandy, who is listed as the liquor permittee license holder, for a confirmation about Black Bear Closing, but by print did not hear back.
Bass, who is regularly booked in Connecticut as a DJ, said it is disappointing to see another local bar go down.
“This is how we earn a living, at this rate there wont be any place left to play,” Bass said.