Recession Shutters Famed Yale Club

Mory's has closed until further notice
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 29, 2008 4:59 PM CST
Mory's, in New Haven, Conn., is a legendary Yale eating and drinking club that traces its roots to the Civil War, has a powerful membership that includes two presidents named Bush.   (AP Photo/Douglas Healey)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Mory's, a legendary Yale University eating and drinking club that traces its roots to the Civil War—and whose membership includes two presidents named Bush—is the latest victim of the recession. A list of patrons that has included the likes of Al Pacino, Tom Hanks, and Jodie Foster hasn't been enough to forestall its closing, which may or may not be temporary. The club's endowment of about $2 million was "crushed" in the financial meltdown, says its newly appointed president.

Mory's was already struggling as Yale students and faculty increasingly sought out newer, trendier restaurants and bars, the AP reports. Still, with more than 14,000 members, Mory's calls itself the largest private club in the world; lifetime membership costs $2,000. The club is trying to raise $200,000 to $300,000 and develop a business plan to return to profitability; it's also reached out to its lifetime members and asked them to voluntarily start paying annual dues.