December 19, 2018

Arch St. Tavern to receive $100K ‘disruption’ payment

HBJ Photo | Joe Cooper
HBJ Photo | Joe Cooper
Construction crews work on an apartment building adjacent to Arch Street Tavern in downtown Hartford.

The last bit of construction is wrapping on Hartford's Front Street entertainment and should pose no more headaches for a local restaurant due a $100,000 payment to cover for previous disruptions, authorities say.

Tony Lazzaro, deputy director for the Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA), says the owner of The Arch Street Tavern, 85 Arch St., never formally demanded recompense for the years of dust, noise and heavy-equipment clutter that descended around his eatery during the last several years of heavy apartment and UConn campus construction.

The quasi-public agency oversees the housing and commercial redevelopment of downtown and the city's other neighborhoods, as well as some of its suburbs.

CRDA's board of directors, at their final meeting of 2018 on Dec. 6, unanimously approved the $100,000 "business disruption'' payment to Arch Street Tavern owner Jerry Collins. Collins did not return repeated calls for comment.

Lazzaro said that as of Tuesday, a check had not yet been cut to Collins, but that he hoped that would happen soon. This is the first instance of CRDA seeking to compensate a local business for the disruptive nature of projects it oversees.

According to Lazzaro, he asked Collins about the disruptive impact of construction taking place around his establishment.

Lazzaro noted that at one point, Arch Street Tavern's outdoor air conditioning condenser got clogged with concrete dust that, combining with condensation, hardened and choked the unit. Lazzaro said Whiting-Turner, general contractor for the conversion of the former Hartford Times building into UConn's new campus, paid for that repair. In warmer months, the noise and dust posed challenges for seating guests in the tavern's outdoor patio.

More recently, however, the construction of an apartment building adjacent to Arch Street Tavern created the need to bring in cranes and other heavy equipment, and necessitating the relocation of curbside utilities.

All of that, Lazzaro said, combined to give potential patrons that the restaurant was inaccessible, or, worst of all, closed.

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