Paul Tully

Recent Articles

‘We Know the Value That They Have’: Tequila Mockingbird’s New Owners To Keep High-Quality Staff, Upbeat Vibe

The new owners of Tequila Mockingbird say they’re eager to continue the iconic Forest Street restaurant’s strong 25-year run and that means maintaining not only high-quality Mexican food but also great service. “We know the value of the people that have worked there for so many years,” said New Canaan resident Paul Tully, part of the ownership group at Tequila Mockingbird. “We now the relationships that they have with the people in town and that, quite honestly is part of the purchase. We hoped—because we could not guarantee that all team members stayed—because in the back of my mind, they’re part of what makes it so great.”

Tully and his partners acquired half of Tequila Mockingbird in the spring of 2015, when the group purchased Gates Restaurant next door, and bought the other half at the end of 2016. The restaurant’s original owner, Paul Mauk of New Canaan, continued as proprietor at Tequila through a transition period that ended last month, Tully said. Continue Reading →

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‘The Vibe Is Awesome’: Gates Reopens

Some 10 months after closing its doors for the first time since launching in 1979, Gates restaurant is re-opening this week under new ownership, with a fresh look and menu. Though no formal word went out about it, New Canaanites descended on the Forest Street institution for a hopping bar scene Monday night, while an invite-only dining crowd filled the newly configured main floor at Gates—complete with a food bar overlooking a wood-fired oven and open kitchen. The bar now will be open nightly, while the restaurant is on track to open for dinner service this weekend (by reservation only), according to Jay Luther, an owner of Gates with fellow town resident Paul Tully. It isn’t clear yet just when Gates will open for lunch—stay tuned. “It’s fantastic,” Luther said of the long-awaited re-opening. Continue Reading →

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Interior Demo of Gates Underway; Mid-Fall Reopening Planned

Gates Interior Demolition August 2015
Interior demolition of the former Gates is in full swing and the New Canaan mainstay’s new owners say it’s on track to reopen mid-fall with an updated look, layout and menu. New Canaanites Jay Luther and Paul Tully, partners in the venture whereby Gates was purchased in April with an eye on reopening with the same name, say locals are excited about planned changes that include a new food bar in the main dining room that looks into an open kitchen with a wood-fired oven, smoker and wood-fired grill. “We are almost as excited as they are to get this open and to reestablish Gates as a go-to place in New Canaan, appealing to a broad base of people,” Tully said on Friday morning, hammer in hand as he joined demolition workers in removing sheetrock to expose the industrial brick inside the restaurant. “Families. Couples. Continue Reading →

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