MERIDEN — It’s the end of an era for a historic building on West Main Street that has housed four restaurants and bars since the 1930s.
Ryder’s on Main closed its doors on Tuesday after nine and a half years as a hub for dart players and community fundraisers.
“I’ve had a very good run,” said owner Lynn Ryder as the bar filled up with regulars and well-wishers Tuesday evening.
Ryder said she and her husband, Jason Ryder, decided a few months ago to let go of her liquor permit as well as the property, 467 W. Main St., to spend more time with her sons, ages 10 and 13, and her grandson, whom she is helping to raise with her 21-year-old daughter.
“I have all of them at the house, and (running the business) takes up a lot of time,” she said.
The costs that come with running a business were also a consideration.
“Being a small business owner in Meriden, and in Connecticut, it’s no secret it’s hard,” she said.
Jason Ryder operates JGR Landscaping Construction.
The Ryders sold two of the properties they own, 467 and 473 W. Main St., to Lisciotti Development, of Leominster, Massachusetts.
“Meriden is going to get, hopefully, brand new businesses,” Lynn Ryder said, “and I’m going to get a chance to enjoy my life and my family.”
The restaurant business runs in the family. Lynn Ryder’s great-grandfather owned Papallo’s Cafe 1, now Raffy’s Cafe 1, at 163 Springdale Ave.
The building at 467 W. Main St. is approximately 3,600 square feet and assessed at $238,770.
According to town assessor records, the property was organized very differently at the beginning.
A house sat next to the Meriden Paint Company, which was built around 1880. Property records still list the two buildings separately. The old paint store is assessed at $20,720 and the house/restaurant is assessed at $218,050.
Sometime in the 1930s, the house and business merged into one building and opened as Dominic’s, an Italian restaurant. Around 1949, the restaurant became Ramini’s, and then in 1979, Mauri’s.
Ryan Mauri was out at Ryder’s on Tuesday. His father and uncle owned Mauri’s and said his best friend, Jason Ryder, bought the business when his family retired from the industry.
“It’s a loss,” Mauri said. “It’s been a fixture between friends and family since 1979.”
Dan Roberts, of Meriden, said he tended the bar the first year of Mauri’s and has been visiting the place since.
“The bar was packed all the time,” Roberts said. “We’ve had a great, great time here all these years.”
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