With its low self-esteem and high urban blight, Hartford is the ultimate underdog city. Sad City Hartford documents the joys, sorrows and eccentricities of New England's Rising Star.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Hartford Pay Phone #40: Baker's Cafe

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, all Hartfordites can exhale as Pay Phone #40 is unveiled in the greatest scavenger hunt to ever hit Hartford. While Sad City is determined to make pay phones Hartford landmarks, Pay Phone #40 itself is located in a Hartford landmark, the legendary Baker's Cafe on New Britain Ave.

When you walk into Baker's, you walk right into another era. Most of the patrons are older gentlemen who seem to have been patronizing Baker's for over a generation.
If you're a beer snob needing a pint from the latest hot microbrew, you're out of luck at Baker's. Baker's is bottles only and the closest you're going to get to a microbrew is a Sam Adams. What Baker's does have is incredibly reasonable priced beers, a friendly bartender, awesome decor, and possibly the most disgusting food menu you'll ever see.

The coolest part of the decor are the dozens of German style hand made beer steins that (we think this is right) the owners mother-in-law made. While the steins are the apex of the coolness, they certainly aren't the end. Next to Pay Phone #40 is a dated replica NASCAR hood. Beer mirrors from another generation adorn the walls. The booths have PBR lamp shades. Yeah, you can't get much cooler than that.

But what about that menu? Think about the nastiest microwavable food in your local fast food restaurant. That's essentially the menu at Baker's. Is that a deal breaker? Hell no, our favorite bars in Hartford serve nothing but hot nuts and chips. Just make sure you eat beforehand.

Got a pay phone we haven't found yet? Send it in!


  1. Hartford's best kept secret...until now.

  2. The PBR lampshades are classics. Worth preserving for future generations.

  3. Is the old "Tables for Ladies" sign still painted on the window?! In the 1980s, Baker's was my favorite bar. Back then the joint appeared unchanged since the 40s.

    I'd order myself a "Champagne of Beers" grab a table (as I am a lady) and head to the pay phone to retrieve messages left on my answering machine. Baker's is/was the coolest time capsule ever. Vive la Hartford!