New NightClub To “Lighten Up” Hartford’s Allyn Street

by Categorized: Downtown Hartford, Uncategorized Date:

The owner of a downtown Hartford restaurant plans a three-level nightclub at the old Palace on Hartford’s Allyn Street. Photo by Kenneth R. Gosselin/kgosselin@courant.com

Hugh Russell’s plans for a new, three-level nightclub at the former Palace in downtown Hartford includes live bands, a sports lounge and a Top 40 dance club.

One thing the plans for 113 Allyn St. don’t include are so much black paint.

“I want to create my own style,” Russell told me today. “Nice, light colors — there’s a lot of black paint in there. It needs to be lightened up a bit.”

He’s also infused his own style in the club’s name: Pyur, a play on the word pure. Russell said he likes the sound of the word, and its quick association with what is clean.

Russell has owned and operated The Russell restaurant at the corner Pratt and Trumbull streets for the past seven years, and has seen a growing popularity among his patrons when he features live bands and clears out a small space for dancing.

“I am expanding that part of the business,” Russell said. “These people were looking for some place to go after dinner.”

Russell told me he aims to attract young professionals and the after-work crowd, more like The Brickyard Cafe that once occupied the space, rather than the younger crowd that frequented his immediate predecessor, The Palace.

Russell won zoning approval this week and must now apply for a liquor permit. If approvals are all secured, the nightclub could be open by late September but that is tentative, Russell said.

The first floor would include live bands of different genres — rock, reggae and jazz — on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. The first floor also would have a sports lounge, with “happy hour” specials.

The second floor would feature a Top 40 dance club with a DJ and dance floor that can accommodate up to 500. The club would be open Wednesdays through Saturdays, with valet parking on the weekends.

Later, there could be a nightclub featuring Latin and R&B music on third floor, Russell told me.

Expect a different view from the street as well, with a lot less black paint.

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28 thoughts on “New NightClub To “Lighten Up” Hartford’s Allyn Street

  1. Stu Piglatin

    This sounds great in theory but let’s be honest. Every establishment on THAT side of the street caters to and welcomes a not so drinking age friendly crowd that some some drinking and loves it. This will all turn into some liquor violating club or eventually another club blu where murder is more rampant than any of its predecessors.

  2. Ms. Rodriguez

    I look forward to the opening. Hugh does a wonderful job at the Russell providing a nice, relaxing, classy environment. Going by his work at the Russell, I believe it will be a nice place to hang out at and have a good time with no drama.

  3. RL

    Hugh, I support you in your efforts and believe it would be a huge success! We never let the past dictate the future.

  4. Jeff S

    Sounds like a great idea! I agree with RL, where there is will, there is a way!

    Catering to responsible young professionals can be a lucrative market in the restaurant business!

  5. Wendy

    I wish that someone would open a club in Hartford that would attract an over 40 crowd for a change. It would attract a different audience to Hartford.

    1. Cheri

      People over 40 are asleep at that hour (and also don’t want to get mugged/shot braving downtown Hartford at night).

    2. Kathy

      I agree. I miss the 880 Club decades ago where 30 and 40 somethings (and up) could get away from the noise and immaturity of the juice bar crowd & listen to some jazz and “old school” music. Moreover, Hartford REALLY should focus on bringing more retail establishments downtown & on Front Street. You have the Convention Center, and a free shuttle service to bring people back & forth, but no retail? The town I live in now has less than 20,000 inhabitants, yet our Main Street is very much alive & flourishing, especially on weekends! Classic Car Fridays, eateries with bistro-like setups, farmers’ markets, strong Chamber of Commerce. There is no reason other than laziness & a self-serving City Council why Hartford can’t enjoy the same. I was born in Hartford & I remember when downtown was the place to be, until someone foolishly convinced the City Council that office space was the wave of the future & many of the businesses were bought out. There needs to be an anchor store downtown, resolving quality of life crimes, and the FBI needs to come in to assist the State & HPD in the violence like it did in the late Eighties/Early Nineties when gang violence was rampant.

      1. ricbee

        The HPD needs to walk the downtown beat 24/7 so everyone can feel safe-& the horses of course.

    3. Arleen

      There definitely needs to be more venues for the over 40 active crowd. The right vibe needs to be set and it will succeed. Those who spread fear of Hartford don’t patronize places with class.poor planners also contribute to the lack of venues for active people looking to enjoy the city.

  6. kevin

    good luck with the business, it is tough down there now. I know at 30 something I don’t want to go downtown, deal with parking, then dodge the fights and non sense with the drunk idiots lets call them. I think the brickyard was successful and going back to that would be a good move but I know it won’t bring me downtown, nothing really does unless Uconn is playing.

  7. Fred

    Three levels, metal detectors at the doors, EMT’s on stand-by, members of the “hood” loitering outside; another reason to increase crime.

  8. Robert Borofsky

    I wish you well, I left Hartford 4 years ago after living there 45 years. Hartford is the pits if the grant brothers closed the Brickyard there had to be a reason. Hartford is a welfare city and anyone with money goes to West Hartford or Glastonbury. Until Hartford decides to clear the thugs out and levels the Northend and now even the Southend I was back last month Hartford is a pit and downtown has such a Hero Northland Development. Thank God I sold.

  9. OMG

    My family owned buildings and businesses up until the 1970’s at Union Station and Main St. Back then everyone was upset with selling the properties. “Buy and hold”, it will be worth millions years from now. It took all these years to see how smart my grandfather and parents were back then.
    Ten more years, Hartford will be Detroit.

  10. deeder

    I think someone should ask the former employees of The Russell how good of a manager he really is. Many were left unpaid when he closed his doors to “reinvent”

    1. Girlie!!

      I am a current employee at the Russell, I am confused about your comment. Where are you getting your incorrect information? I wish Hugh nothing but success.

  11. Sigh

    Congrats Mr. Russell! Being a longtime patron of the Russell and seeing firsthand that you care about your establishment, your patrons as well as your employees is what keeps many of us frequenting The Russell and helping with its success. It’s nice to see that you care enough to try and keep Hartford alive where there are MANY hard working individuals that want a nice local place to come and enjoy. Pyur will be a success as we know you would not have it any other way. I see many negative comments but I’m thinking someone missed that the re-opening of a ice place will also help with un-employment and just the overall look of the area, taking an abandoned building and creating something light and crisp with twist of LIFE.

  12. lmao!!!!

    Are you kidding me? The Russel is horrible. friggin’ place turns from a Lounge into a damn night club within hours and before you know it it’s packed everybody from Club Blu. That place is a dump ripe for some Violence. Oh, wait, they already have had that happen. Too much of a ghetto audience. And having a few bartenders and Security is not my idea of helping curve unemployment. Most I bet don’t even get benefits, and they work PT. Don’t kid yourself. Once it starts losing money it will go throwing Hip-Hop Nights on Friday/Saturdays and maybe Latin Night on Sundays as if the people that go on that day don’t have a job to go to come Monday morning.

  13. elroy

    This is hartford having a nice place and every one is broke, real talk and the bills keep coming in never stop good luck man i will buy a couple bottle to support.

  14. lmao!!!!

    damn, not even the author of this article knows what “real talk” means, dude. I can see you’ll be a frequent patron. No need to know what that night will turn out to be.

  15. mike brown

    I know a little something about the location and here is my take.I think u have great intention Hugh and I do wish you the best in the venture.I have heard good things about you and the Russel,however i dont know that “russel”vibe is gonna grow well in a large space like this.the upscale crowd that you r goin for very simply doesnt exsist on that scale.It also seems that there is about 50% brickyard and 50% r&b/hip-hop crowd…These worlds mix about as well as oil and water.I do hope you succeed,cause when it goes down bad on that block…it really goes bad.the only other thing i can say is if its gonna be new and different ,i think you could do better then tryin to rock a name that is already someone elses idea/club.anyone thats been to vegas knows “pure”,,just cause you change the spelling doesnt make it yours..the name is a week bit of thievery.Im guessin if you want an idea of what this place will look like inside all you need to do is go to the real “pure”in las vegas and then imagine a cheaper copy with the same kind of look…I guessin lots of white…but we will see.what do i know.

  16. Phil

    I want to wish Mr. Russell the best in his new venture. The definition of entrepreneurship is to assume risk in order to achieve goals. I am originally a Hartford native and as such I have a love for my hometown and I applaud anyone who is willing to invest in it. The I look forward to stopping by in late September.

  17. Tony V

    I am only assuming that many of whom wrote ill faith presumption has never been in business. The mere mention of thugs; does this conjured blacks,Hispanics or drunk white people creating chaos? The point is that it does not matter who you are but the content within your emotions that cause one to react in such violent manner. Do not under estimate Mr. Russel and his passion for taking a risk in Hartford. Instead of critiquing his efforts everyone should be applauding his entrepreneurial venture.

    1. Rob

      Well said! Its amazing the racial hatred that comes through in these anonymous blog postings. Easy to be a hater and bully when no one knows who you are.

  18. Cherry

    Some things posted are so sad. If your afraid of a certain area keep your ass at home or in safesville. Congrats Russell I am a regular at the Russell and love the love jones experience where it’s an open mic. The ability to share my poetry while staying rooted is great. Hartford puts no fear in my heart I been to many clubs out there just takes a certain type of person in my opinion to hang there. The past can’t dictate the future as stated and stereo types can cut both ways depending on the subject at hand.

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