City officials in New Haven will work with building owner Yale University Properties to determine the fate of the popular Anchor Restaurant, which boarded up its windows earlier this month.
The Anchor closed down just after New Year's amid reports of financial problems, and residents started a petition urging Yale to reconsider.
Now rumors are swirling that Yale has plans to change the storefront.
“It is a community establishment. It's not just created for the community, it was created for Yale students as well. It's a place where everybody could mingle together, feel comfortable and as they say in the old advertisement, and rub elbows with the stars of stage and screen,” said Colin Caplan, an architect and historian.
Caplan said stars like Lucille Ball, Marlon Brando and Thornton Wilder spent time there, and it would be a tragedy to see the iconic facade go.
“And the thing about the look of it, even from the inside with the half-round tables and the chairs, it's just a beautiful sight and it makes people feel like home,” said Caplan.
The city of New Haven has asked Yale University Properties for a 90-day stay on making changes. Yale has agreed.
“Obviously, it's Yale's right to have a good business in there, but we feel that the citizens and the people in New Haven have a right to the streetscape and the beautiful signs and facades that they've come to expect,” said Matthew Nemerson, New Haven’s Economic Development Administrator.
The city and Yale are working together to see what happens next.
"We are currently accepting proposals from all interested parties," Yale University Properties said in a statement. "People have many different ideas as to what should go into the space and we are listening to the various proposals. Contrary to rumors, we have no current plans to change the facade of the building."