Spend your Friday nights at Toad’s Place in New Haven


Photo courtesy of Charlotte Bassett

The entrance to Toad’s Place, New Haven.

Saige Batza, Student Life Editor

Are you looking for a nightclub to spend your Friday nights with friends, but haven’t been successful? Well, I’ve got the perfect place for you. For the past 50 years, Toad’s Place in New Haven has been attracting crowds of people, from regular concertgoers to local college students. The national attraction has hosted celebrities including Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, The Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan, among many others.

The music club was built as a Yale co-op, across town from Yale University. In 1975, Mike Spoerndle opened the business as an Italian and French restaurant, and later added live music to attract more customers. Spoerndle hosted 25-cent “beer nights,” even when the legal drinking age was 18. In 1976, the club transformed into an iconic music venue and adopted the motto “Where the Legends play.”

Early on, Toad’s Place held about 1,000 guests at a time, hosting U2 for one of their first performances as a band. Bruce Springsteen made an appearance after his concert at the Hartford Civic Center. In fact, Springsteen showed up to Toad’s Place without warning, and performed for a while. This unlikely event helped give Toad’s Place the popularity it had been looking for, which drew in crowds of locals and tourists.

In 1989, The Rolling Stones gave an intimate performance to 700 lucky fans after rehearsing for their Steel Wheels tour in Washington, Conn. The tickets for their performance were only $3.01 each––an unimaginable phenomenon.

So, why should you choose to spend your Friday night at Toad’s Place? For starters, the local attraction and nightclub has hosted award-winning musicians and celebrities. There is even a wall on one side of the building that shows the names of the stars who have performed there over the years. If you choose to attend one of the live shows make sure you set time aside to arrive early, as the line is usually wrapped around the building. The nightclub typically hosts weekly band performances on Friday and Saturday nights and drinks are served to attendees over 21 years of age.

You can find a list of upcoming events on seatgeek.com. Upcoming performances include Fangirl Fantasy on March 31, Jukebox the Ghost on April 1, Cousin Stizz on April 5 and many more.