City Steam Brewery and Cafe | Hartford, CT

Dear Friends...

It is with humble gratitude and a heavy heart that we announce the closing of City Steam Brewery on March 31- after 44 years in business (26 as City Steam and 18 as Brown Thomson and Company).

We opened in 1980 as Brown Thomson and Company, carving out a space in the newly renovated historic circa 1877 HH Richardson Building, regarded as the most famous example of Romanesque Architecture in America. We created an interior area with 5 flights of stairs on two levels with a fifty-foot ceiling, including original wrought iron railings salvaged from the dumpsters as fast as the landlord could fill them. We then filled the space with Victorian antiques with period tin ceilings throughout. We brought new life to downtown. We were packed from the time the doors opened until they closed seven days a week for years. Our 100-item menu was almost impossible to put out, but we did it with speed and flair. Our bartenders had to pass a 100+ item drink test before they could blend their first Banana Split! The Brew Ha Ha Comedy Club soon followed in the lower level.

In 1997 we had the vision to open a brewery, so we converted BT to City Steam, the second brewery/pub in CT (now there are over 130!). City Steam was named after our source of power, which is the steam that runs below the streets of Hartford.

Our Staff- We give thanks to the thousands and thousands of wonderful loyal staff members that made us the most fun place to work in downtown Hartford for over 4+ decades! Working at 942 Main Street was a steppingstone to success in life for many as they learned how to work hard and treated customers as they wanted to be treated.

Our customers-It has been a pleasure and honor serving the greater Hartford community all these years! You trusted us with your most treasured events: Birthday celebrations, graduation dinners, first dates, marriage proposals (!), engagement parties-the list goes on and on! Come back over the next two weeks with your wife/ husband or a good friend you met here and enjoy some casual food or a comedy show in the Brew Hall Ha (circa 1987), or just come by for a cold Naughty Nurse! We will continue to distribute our craft beers at over 1500 grocery and liquor stores, and bars/restaurants throughout Connecticut.

A special thanks to the City of Hartford for their efforts in supporting the downtown restaurant scene and for working to help us get back up and running, but we could not recover from the aftereffects of a 4-month half million-dollar closure due to a burst sprinkler pipe and the resultant flood.

We have had an incredible run, but it is now time to hand the reigns over to another talented and creative restaurateur. This iconic space at the head of the rejuvenated Pratt Street Historic district is ripe with opportunity. We are looking for a restaurateur who may have an interest in buying the business and putting in a new concept- brewery or not- in our incredible 150+ year old historic structure. If you have an interest or know someone who may have an interest, have them contact:

Once again, we thank all our staff members and customers alike for your loyalty over the past 44 years!