Chatterley’s Restaurant is located within one of Connecticut’s treasured buildings at 2 Bridge Street in the center of historic New Hartford. Once the ‘Old Tavern’, built in 1737, it was the focal point of local merriment. The townspeople would gather on the Tavern’s porch, libation in hand, and commune. Near the mid-1800s a little know man by the name of Dr. Elias Howe became a tenant of the building. Below the bustling Old Tavern, where Dr. Howe lived and ran his mechanic’s shop, he invented the first lockstitch sewing machine. As legend goes, a tormented Howe, unable to perfect his machine and life’s work, was liberated by a dream where savages were attacking him, carrying spears with holes near the arrow’s head. Awoken by the nightmare at 4:00 o’clock in the morning, the lockstitch mechanism was born!
On September 10th, 1846 Dr. Howe was granted a patent for his design. Isaac Singer, formerly accredited with the invention, lost a suit brought by Dr. Howe in 1854 and was ordered to pay royalties to Dr. Howe from all profits gained through the selling of the Howe sewing machine. In 1888 the Old Tavern was torn down, leaving only the basement behind, to erect a new building, which would become the New Hartford House. Over 100 years later in October of 1992, it became the home of Chatterley’s Restaurant, where we remain today and continue in the ‘Old Tavern’ tradition of being a haven of merriment for people to gather.