prohibition was abolished and beer was once again legalized.
120 Charter Oak Street became a tavern shortly thereafter. Bolton
area farmers used the Charter Oak lots for a farmer's market
where buyers from retail stores came from near and far to attend
the strawberry and vegetable auctions. Afterward all would stop
in the tavern for drink and some good Italian food. In 1947
the tavern became a restaurant.
following the death of Frank Farr, the property was passed to
the present owners, James and Richard Farr. It was maintained
as a restaurant and was a very popular local stop. When the
Charter Oak Park was built in 1968, the restaurant was a favorite
place of athletes after a hard played game. In 1971 the Charter
Oak Restaurant became The Charter Oak Grill - known for its
light lunches and good food until its closing in 1975. The Brass
Hammer opened later that year as a showcase for local guitarists
and singing talent. When that venture failed, "The Hammer"
remained open to house many exotic dancers that lit the stage
until the doors finally closed in June 1981.
By November 1981, the ideas were concrete and the papers signed
for 120 Charter Oak Street to be ripped down to the bare shell
to begin another life as The Hungry Tiger Cafe. Don Denley,
Jr. and Don Denley, Sr. seemed the ideal team to combine fortes
to create a truly unique eating and drinking establishment.
Both lifetime Manchester residents, Don Sr. has had many years
of food service experience being the owner of the Brass Key
Restaurant on Main Street and Don Jr. has several years bartending
in such places as the Russian Lady Cafe and Brown Thompson Restaurant
in Hartford. It is only natural that between the combined talents
of father and son that the 120 Charter Oak Street and the Hungry
Tiger should become a success that it is today.
In 1998, Don Denley, Sr. retired after fifty years in the restaurant
business at The Ferndale, The Kopper Kettle, The Brass Key and
The Hungry Tiger Cafe. His daily presence is missed, but his
wealth of knowledge, determination and spirit are carried on
by Don Denley, Jr.
The Hungry Tiger has won numerous awards from 1995-2000 in the
Hartford Advocate readers Poll - "Best Blues Club",
"Best Place to See Live Music" and "Best Blues
Renown musicians have lit up the room including: Susan Tedeschi,
Matt "Guitar" Murphy, Kim Wilson, James Montgomery,
Deborah Coleman, Jeff Healey, Coco Montoya, Jeff Pevar, Rod
Piazza & The Mighty Flyers, Commander Cody & The Lost
Planet Airman, Steve Fobert, James Harman, Dan Hicks, Sleepy
Labeef, Jon Pousette-Dart, Duke Robillard, Kim Simmonds &
Savoy Brown, Son Seals & Maria Muldaur.