Lena’s First & Last and Sully’s Pub on Hartford’s Park Street closed Thursday after being evicted for nonpayment of rent, according to court filings.
Owner Darrell Sullivan confirmed the eviction Friday morning, attributing his ongoing financial difficulties in part to family health issues and a failed partnership with former employees he had hoped would take over the business, as well as increasing city taxes.
Lena’s and Sully’s entered into a one-year lease with landlord PKV, LLC on Aug. 1, 2017, according to records, agreeing to pay $3,000 a month in rent. The landlord first served a notice to quit possession for nonpayment of rent on Jan. 16.
Lena’s First & Last, founded in June of 1982, was a Parkville staple for pizzas, pasta, salads and grinders, offering its signature slices, soups and giant garlic rolls during busy lunch hours. Sullivan added the live music spot in the 1990s, first named Sweet Lena’s and later christened Sully’s Pub, with a seasonal outdoor tiki bar.
Sullivan informed customers of the closing on the pizzeria’s Facebook page Thursday night, and said the outpouring of supportive comments had brought him to tears.
“What we really tried to do, is we tried to love, and we tried to make a business out of it, with food, a good restaurant, a nice clean place to be served a nice meal with a smile,” he said. “And I took that and I love music, and I figured this is a small little place, let’s let people make their own music. That’s where Sully’s was born out of. I tried to keep it going, and I fought until I could fight no more, I guess. What remains to be seen, I don’t know.”