Update, video: If you wanted to know what Bridgeport was like in the 1940s, Dolan’s Bar and Grill at Middle and Golden Hill streets next to the Downtown post office was the spot. The interior never changed. And the place certainly hit the spot for an eclectic group of eccentrics, be it local drunk, newspaper reporter, postal worker, businessperson and the occasional prostitute who’d wander in for a peek in case patron curiosity was piqued back in the day when it was red-light district territory. But oh, those 40-cent drafts. The vacant building that housed Dolan’s was damaged by fire Monday night, according to fire officials.
Yes, the short drafts were under a buck, even when the place closed as Dolan’s in 1999. Every so often, after a departing customer had chugged entirely too much, it was possible they’d cross over Water Street and take an involuntary dip in the Pequonnock River. The place was wonderful fodder for newspaper scribes to test the political pulse of the city.
Outgoing city development chief David Kooris says the city controls the site and had envisioned it as a financial services tower as part of Downtown redevelopment plans. Kooris says the city had boarded up the building a few days ago, and considers it a likely contender for a redevelopment knock down.
Veteran local journalist Bob Fredericks has fond memories of the place for its steamed cheeseburgers, cheap draft beer and stop on the way to school at Fairfield Prep.
“Was also the bus stop for the second leg of my trip to Prep, one CRL bus from the East Side to Dolans, then a grey line to Prep. Bartender would give us Slim Jims and sodas if we brought the afternoon papers. Good times. That was the late ’60s.”
Steve Krauchick, of Doing It Local, was on the scene and shares this report:
Bridgeport Connecticut–Firefighters didn’t have far to go for the fire at Golden Hill and Middle Street. The smokey fire slowed traffic on Water Street that was just departing the UCONN game at the Arena. The firefighters were met with heavy fire on the second floor. When I arrived (within 15 minutes) the bulk of the fire was contained and they were breaking out windows to ventilate the structure which appeared to be under construction (the building to the left of the post office). Firefighters had the fire and hot spots out within the hour. The fire marshal was requested to the scene to investigate the cause.