End of a Shelton institution as Downtown Danny O’s closes

The empty patio at Downtown Danny O’s, with brown paper on the windows to cover the inside of the establishment.

The empty patio at Downtown Danny O’s, with brown paper on the windows to cover the inside of the establishment.

 

It’s the end of an institution in Shelton’s central business district with the closing of Downtown Danny O’s on Howe Avenue.

The bar that generally catered to a younger crowd — while also pulling in many longtime residents of all ages — is now closed.

The landmark marquee sign at Downtown Danny O’s, with its shamrock.

The landmark marquee sign at Downtown Danny O’s, with its shamrock.

The downtown establishment was shut on Friday night and brown paper is taped to all its windows, blocking the view inside.

“RIP Danny. You will be missed. Loved hanging out there,” said a recent message posted by a former patron on the Facebook page of Downtown Danny O’s.

Danny Orazietti, part-owner, said Saturday that the business has been sold to a partnership that plans to reopen another bar and restaurant in the space. He said Downtown Danny O’s closed about a week ago.

The original Danny O’s Bar & Grille on River Road, a separate entity operated by Danny Orazietti, remains in business.

 

Building was restored in 2001

Brothers Danny and Dave Orazietti had purchased what was “one of the oldest pubs in Connecticut” in 2001, restoring the establishment to its original 19th century look, according a plaque on the outside of the bar and restaurant.

Downtown Danny O’s was expanded in 2003, doubling its size and adding an outside patio. And in 2008, the second-floor Green Room was added for special events.

The plaque outside the now-closed Downtown Danny Os in Shelton.

The plaque outside the now-closed Downtown Danny Os in Shelton.

The establishment was known for its brick and green facade, with a large vertical marquee sign featuring a shamrock. Dave Orazietti primarily ran Downtown Danny O’s.

 

A hopping place at its peak

The front of Downtown Danny O’s on Howe Avenue in Shelton.

The front of Downtown Danny O’s on Howe Avenue in Shelton.

Downtown Danny O’s was a hopping place on many nights for its first decade or so, especially with people in their 20s and 30s.

It was perhaps most crowded in the summer, when a large side room’s garage doors would be opened to create an open-air atmosphere adjacent to the front patio, adjacent to Howe Avenue.

It also was a popular place for Happy Hour gatherings of co-workers and friends. It was a place to chat with friends over drinks, watch a sports game on TV, grab some bar food, and play pool or darts.

Downtown Danny O’s hosted many community events through the years, working with nonprofit organizations and other groups to put on fund-raisers and other gatherings.

 

Downtown pioneer

The establishment was viewed as a being a pioneer in downtown Shelton revitalization efforts.

(Story continues below)

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Click below for Danny Orazietti’s reaction to the closing:

Danny O on the downtown Shelton bar's closing: It was a great run

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The Oraziettis also had opened a Mexican restaurant and bar nearby on Center Street, called Caliente. They closed that establishment in May 2013 and sold it to another restaurateur, who then remodeled the place and opened it as Center Street Social.

The Oraziettis own the building with Center Street Social as well as the Downtown Danny O’s building.

 

Competition

Business at Downtown Danny O’s appears to have been impacted by the opening of the Draft House in 2009, a bar that caters to a similar crowd and offers live bands and sports game specials with big-screen TVs.

The Draft House is on Bridgeport Avenue about a mile outside of downtown, and being in a strip shopping center offers amble off-street parking.

Brown paper covers the windows at the main entrance to Downtown Danny Os.

Brown paper covers the windows at the main entrance to Downtown Danny Os.

The opening of Center Street Social in the late summer of 2013 also seems to have affected business at Downtown Danny Os. Center Street Social attracts a slightly older crowd.

Many bars and restaurants remain open in downtown Shelton, including the nearby Porky’s. Parking convenience can be an issue for such establishments in Shelton’s central business district.

 

 

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