In what has become a rash of sports bar closings, add another one to the growing list. This time, however, it's one of Brookfield's most popular locations that is closing, but from the sound what's to come, it's going to ultimately be for the better.

As noted in a very heartfelt message to their many loyal customers, the building at 189 Federal Rd. has gone through many transformations over the course of more than 100 years. That said, time has run out for the very popular 189 Sports Cafe on Federal Road in Brookfield, but as they say goodbye to their loyal following, there are some great things on the horizon.

We spoke with John Conway, the G.M. at 189, and before let us in on the big plans in store for the building, he took a second to reflect on his time spent at 189 Sports Cafe. When asked what he enjoyed most about serving our local area within the walls of 189, John said, "We were here for about a decade and it's a very competitive area, but we did really well. Between places like Maggie McFly's, Pulcinella and others, the great local people definitely had their options to choose from and they often came here. My favorite part of this job was the fantastic staff and the great groups of people I was able to work with through the years. They were the best and our customers seem to agree."

John went on to give us the scoop that in the very near future, 189 Federal Rd. will undergo some extensive remodeling and that the Market Place Tavern, part of the very well-known Market Place Restaurant Group, will be taking over the location. "Market Place Tavern will be the phoenix rising from the ashes of the 189 Sports Cafe," Conway explained. "The 189 staff has an open invitation to return if they'd like. It'd be great to have familiar faces with the same friendly attitude while we elevate our food game even further and focus on the dinner crowd."

John Conway will be keeping the same General Manager role he held with 189, and also, while everything is coming together under the new brand, he will be backed up by some of the other managers who have experience with the Market Place locations around our area, including Litchfield and Danbury. John said, "We'll work together to get things started, then from there, I'll be the face of the place. I'm only going to be as good as the staff I have."

I just recently passed there the other day and noticed some signs posted on the building, but there was also what looked like some construction going on, so I assumed it was just a remodeling project and that the signs were the "pardon our appearance - under construction" type.

So for now, those of us who enjoyed the 189 Cafe will have to say goodbye, but we're certainly excited for what's to come. Good luck, John Conway and all of the friendly faces with Market Place Tavern.

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