As Waterbury’s population grows, blighted downtown sites are giving way to new housing, business

Established in the late 1800s, Drescher’s occupied the building at 21 Leavenworth in various forms until 2021, when the pandemic shuttered many of downtown Waterbury’s restaurants. Now the area is slowly stirring back to life, and the co-owner of Tullamore Public House hopes to help bring business to the entire downtown district. The Tullamore’s opening downtown is just one hopeful sign in the long-beleaguered Brass City, which saw factories that once employed more than 50,000 people at their peak shut down decades ago. The city of about 114,000 was left with dozens of hulking abandoned factories, acres of poisoned land and the third-poorest population in the state.

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