The Owl's Nest Cafe will transform into a daycare. (WFSB photo)
The Westville Community Nursery School will move to the Owl's Nest location. (WFSB photo)
NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) -
A bar in New Haven that neighbors described as dangerous will pack up to make way for a daycare.
They said the Owl's Nest on Tour Avenue had seen its share of violence. In a matter of months, it will be replaced by toddlers who are ready to learn.
Casey Wiessinger said she picked her son up after a half day at the Westville Community Nursery School, a place that sees more than 30 children per day.
The school said the church they're in asked them to move out of the place it called home for the past 43 years. That's when a new place of learning had to be found.
"It was kind of exciting to see what was going to happen and where we were going to be," Wiessinger said.
Directors said they had a checklist for the ideal spot. It had to be in the heart of the Westville section of New Haven, close to local attractions that could be used for field trips and still maintain a sense of security.
School officials found that place at the Owl's Nest.
"It's on a side street, and we're right in the thick of things," said Patty O'Hanlon, director of the Westville Community Nursery School. "We're close to the library, the fire house, we can visit local businesses."
O'Hanlon called it a perfect location for learning, albeit one that has been home to violence.
Just last year, a man was shot outside, according to police.
Neighbors said gunfire in the area was a common sound. They had banded together to get the bar out.
"Westville is trying to build itself right now in a positive way," said Thema Graves, a neighbor. "A daycare is a lot better, it will bring a lot better energy than a bar."
Parents like Wiessinger said they were not worried about an outbreak of violence. They said the school operates during the day.
Even businesses were welcoming their new neighbor. They said they were planning to change their models.
"I think it could be a good thing and I could get some kids clothes maybe," said Walter Mills, owner of X-Clusive Trendz.
There's no word on where the Owl's Nest would turn up next.
The daycare was looking to open by September.
Copyright 2014 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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