If I told you a bar named Ordinary was on the contrary, not ordinary, would you believe me? Would you also be shocked to know I’ve found the BEST goddamn burger I’ve ever tasted at this Ordinary bar? Well I’m about to do just that. Welcome to Ordinary – New Haven’s oldest tavern.
I can’t even begin to articulate the wealth of history that this location, on the corner of Chapel St and College St, has to offer. Let’s say it began somewhere around 1659, where a lovely chap ran the town Ordinary, also known as a tavern.
A lot can happen in a good 350 years or so, that’s for sure. Throughout all that time, the location went through numerous makeovers, only to end up finally as – you guessed it – a tavern. I highly implore you to take the time and read the full history of this location here – www.ordinarynewhaven.com/history.
Since 2013, the space was restored and reopened by local restaurateurs, bringing the Ordinary back to life. It’s definitely not in the same sphere as your local pub, but more of a revived speakeasy emulating the grandiose aura of the time. The old school New England vibe was very welcoming, and the dark tones of the wood and decorations gave it a historic feel.
We were lucky enough to meet up with one of the owners, Tim Cabral. He made both my boyfriend and myself separate drinks based on flavors we liked. As not a big spirits-person, I was pleasantly surprised with how much I liked my particular cocktail (no clue what the name of it was, if there even was one). Drinks in hand, he showed us around the space, which had just been re-opened a few days prior to our arrival because of an unfortunate water leak. So happy the timing worked out for us.
Then, I have no idea what happened here. Tim grabbed this lantern-esque box out of the cupboard and started fiddling with it. We watched intently, with no clue as to what he was doing.
After creating this mysterious cocktail, and a little bit of brewing in said lantern, he opened the door and let us take a sip. This drink single-handedly made both of us like Mezcal for the first time in our lives. And because of it, we’ve ordered a few Mezcal beverages since then, so hats off to you, Tim!
Among the extensive list of cocktails was this bubbling concoction. A little hard to drink, but tasty nonetheless.
I’d like to introduce you to the Doodle Burger – literally the tastiest effing burger both myself and my burger-obsessed boyfriend have ever eaten in our LIVES.
I. Swear. To. God.
This is not an #ad, not #spon; this is the absolute truth.
For being a basic cheeseburger (it really was just that), it somehow managed to defy all logic. The credit really does go to them procuring high quality products, which you can really taste.
After our shock of this phenomenal burger wore down, we were given a tour throughout the building which held such history. This basement area, which would be an amazing space or addition to the bar, unfortunately has too many structural issues with it that it’s currently not possible to be opened to anything for the public.
All is not lost, though. A side door from Ordinary leads to this atrium with this most beautifully lit ceiling.
Who would have thought that this dimly-lit cocktail bar with the best burgers we’ve ever had would be from this historically-rich building in the middle of New Haven, CT? Highly suggest this for anyone who’s passing through.
Address: 990 Chapel St, New Haven, CT 06510