Based on social media posts, the only thing that anyone cares about in Waterbury lately is what's happening inside the Brass Mill Center Mall. Will it close? Is the movie theater coming back? Is Los Garcia moving into the old Sears Auto building? You know what I miss in the Brass City? A diner that's open at 2AM.

Have you ever heard of Howard Johnson's? Betsy Ross, Athenian. or the Brass House? If you were in Waterbury during the late 1900's, (Wow, that's weird to say) those 4 restaurants were where you ended your evening after the bars closed down. My favorite late night dining establishment was the Howard Johnson's, later it was known as the Brass House Restaurant, and it was located on South Main Street. After a long night at Westside Lobster House, Polo's, Gahan's, or on the way back from the Moon in New Haven, we used to roll into HoJo's and watch the parade of inebriated patrons stumble in to eat their weight in fried clams and pancakes. We always made sure to leave great tips for the poor waitstaff.

Photo by Large Dave

The Betsy Ross/Athenian/Brass City Diner on Wolcott Street was transformed into a Burger King in 2022, but for years it was the go-to after a late night at the nearby Ground Round, White Parrot, or on the way back if you ended up in Wolcott.

How does the Waterbury late night diner scene look in 2024? Not good. Mary's Diner on Watertown Ave, Meriden Road Diner, Freight Street, Maja, and Lakewood Diners all close down after lunch or dinner. What's the closest late night diner to Waterbury? Denny's in Southington. Someone open a 24 hour diner, they will come.

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