Walk into a tavern as a stranger, and you walk out having new friends. Next time you stop in, you’re a regular. From the six-stool Sharon Valley Tavern in a small Victorian building erected by an iron company in Sharon, to the Dutch Tavern in a centuries-old storefront on a narrow New London street, you’ll find welcoming good cheer and conversation.
Since prohibition ended about eighty years ago, Connecticut taverns have been singular institutions licensed to sell only beer and cider, and in recent years, wine. Many watering holes call themselves “taverns,” but only those without hard liquor are the real deal. Decades ago the state had hundreds, but economic and social pressures for full liquor service have left only a handful.