1. The Marcus Dairy Bar
In 2011, The Marcus Dairy Bar Restaurant in Danbury, Conn., one of the most iconic gathering spot for motorcyclists, shut down. Known as “the Dairy” or simply “Marcus” by tens of thousands of bikers who incorporated it into their Sunday morning rides, the restaurant was in operation since 1947 and a motorcyclist destination since the late ’70s. While everyone was sad to see it go, no one was hurting more than the motorcyclists who had practically made this place a second home.
2. Danbury Fair
The Danbury Fair was a yearly exhibition in Danbury, Conn. It began in 1821 as an ag. fair. From then until its closing, the fair was open for 10 days every October. When the fair’s owner John Leahy, died in 1974, the organization fell into disarray. The last fair was held in 1981, with an estimated 400,000 attendees. The last day of the fair was October 12, 1981. All of the rides, attractions, and holdings were auctioned off. The Danbury Fair Mall was then built on the fairgrounds, but most people still miss the real Danbury Fair.
3. Radio 104 Fest
Radio 104 Fest was one of Connecticut’s largest annual music festivals. It brought together a ton of top-of-the-charts musicians and bands, and pretty much all of Connecticut attended. But the concert is no longer held. No more mid-level punk rock artist festivals in Connecticut, I’m afraid.
4. The New Haven Coliseum
The New Haven Coliseum was a sports-entertainment arena located in downtown New Haven. The Coliseum was officially closed on Sept. 1, 2002 and demolished by implosion on Jan. 20, 2007. Most people have pretty epic memories of the Coliseum, but almost all of us have an even better memory of the demolition—everyone and their mother went to watch them blow it up. Sad, sad day.
5. Hartford Whalers
There isn’t a person who grew up in Connecticut who didn’t go see the Hartford Whalers play. It was epic. And now they’re gone. The Hartford Whalers used to be an NHL team based in Hartford (and Connecticut’s only professional sports team), but they left the state in 1997. People have petitioned and rallied and started Facebook pages called, “Bring back the Whalers,” but, to no avail. Sigh.
6. The Meadows: Yeah, we don’t call it that anymore…
While the location of The Meadows is still there, now it’s called “The Comcast Center” or “XFinity Theater.” But literally every person in Connecticut still calls it The Meadows. Sorry, Comcast. Your name just doesn’t cut it.
7. Criminalized Recreational Marijuana
In 2011, Connecticut legislatures passed the marijuana decriminalization bill, making us one of the first states in the union to decriminalize recreational use of marijuana. What used to get you locked up in jail is now simply a $1,000 fine. Many a Connecticut resident was happy with this new law.
Yes, there used to be WaWas in Connecticut. And now if we even want to catch a glimpse of those giant delicious pretzels we used to get when filling up our gas tank, we have to drive all the way to New Jersey. Blegh. Definitely not doing that. Guess we just have to accept it.
9. UConn Spring Weekend
Everyone all over the country knew UConn for one reason and one reason only (besides their basketball skills): their notorious Spring Weekend. In 2011, the University decided there would be no more Spring Weekends at UConn due to the danger the event posed to the students and local community. So while UConn students try to hold on to the tradition any way they can, unfortunately hosting events that immediately get shut down by the 1,000 cops who stop and frisk every student on campus is not exactly “Spring Weekend.” The legacy is most likely dead and never coming back.
10. Jeremy Lamb
Speaking of UConn… There are just some UConn basketball players we all hate to see go. Even though Lamb signed with Oklahoma City Thunder two years ago, we haven’t really gotten over it. And who can blame us? As a freshman, he was the second-leading scorer on the 2011 national champion Huskies team. Sure, we won a championship without him. But there’s still something nostalgic about the 2011 win.
11. Blue laws
In 2012, Governor Daniel Malloy signed a bill to end our state’s “archaic” Blue Laws. Connecticut liquor stores are now allowed to operate on Sundays, and choose one item per month to offer at a 10 percent discount. Discounts had previously been outlawed. The general sentiment was: Way to go, Guv’na. For most of us, this was a welcome change!
12. Riverside Park
When Riverside Park turned in to Six flags New England, many a Connecticuter was disappointed. Six Flags may please some people, but nothing could ever replace the park, the speedway, the roller-skating rink, or the ability to actually drive there without sitting in hours of traffic. Boo, Six Flags. You’ll never even come close…
13. The Oakdale
Yeah, you may have expanded and gotten a fancy name (“Toyota Theater”) but to us real patrons you’ll always be the Oakdale—the theater that could only fit a couple thousand people and still hosted bands like Led Zeppelin.
14. New Haven Nighthawks Hockey At The New Haven Coliseum (RIP)
Not only is the Coliseum gone, but our Nighthawks are gone too. As if losing the Whalers wasn’t hard enough. Jeez.
15. Ovation Guitar Factory
The Ovation guitar factory in New Hartford was the only U.S. plant that made the iconic Ovation guitars. Campbell was among the first stars to bring renown to Ovation, but others who played the company’s guitars included Paul Simon, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, Eddie Van Halen, Alex Lifeson, Neil Diamond, Kenny Rogers, Melissa Etheridge, Roger Waters and David Gilmour. The factory was also the first to make an acoustic guitar that plugs into an amp.
16. A Major Highway Not Undergoing Major Construction
Remember when driving on 84, 91, and 95 didn’t mean driving through hell on earth? Yeah. We’ll never see that again. All of our major highways are pretty much entirely made up of construction that is indefinitely ongoing—I barely remember a time when it wasn’t impossible to get from one part of Connecticut to another without expecting at least 30–40 minutes of traffic. Basically, it sucks to drive in a small state when every other mile has another construction extravaganza going on. RIP peaceful drives.
17. Peter Paul Candy
While the Peter Paul Candy Manufacturing Company is still a candy-making division, known for Mounds and Almond Joy, it’s basically been entirely absorbed by the Hershey Company. And it’s never really been the same since the Naugatuck factory was closed by Hershey in 2007, moving the location to Virginia. Boo!
18. Dave Chappelle
Sometimes us Connecticuters are a bit too rowdy for our own good, resulting in people forever shunning our state. Dave Chappelle actually condemned the city of Hartford after having to walk off stage during a comedy routine at Hartford’s Comcast Center. The drunk, rowdy crowd just couldn’t keep it together long enough to actually hear the show. Yeah. Not our finest moment, people. We pretty much deserved to be permanently disgraced as a state by Chapelle.
19. Hilton Kaderli
Everyone who remembers him misses him dearly. He was WFSB’s weatherman, but he was so much more than that. Weather guys are usually terribly, unbearably annoying, but Hilton Kaderli was tolerable to watch. He just acted like he was your BFF. And remember when he almost got blown off Mt. Washington? Sheesh. Even when not trying, he was seriously entertaining to watch.
Bradlees was one of our favorite discount department stores. When it went bankrupt in 2000, we were all devastated to see it go. Nothing has really come close to replacing it (Sorry, Target. You just aren’t the same).
21. Jerry-Jer The Tampon Man
“The Jerry Jer Show” on WFAC-TV, our public access television channel, was—ahem—interesting to say the least. McClelland was known for hosting his program as the character “Tampon Man,” wearing a “feminine product” on his forehead while ranting against about just about everything. His ranting, and his interesting choice of headgear, are both no more.
22. WWE Wrestlers At The Connecticut Post Mall
Remember when WWE wrestlers used to come to the Connecticut Post Mall (now the Westfield Mall) and give us their autographs? Yeah, not only is the name of the mall different, WWE wrestlers no longer make it a habit of coming to visit.
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