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News & Press: Restaurant News

Restaurants cooking up help for workers of flooded Manchester bistro

Wednesday, February 24, 2016  
Posted by: Emily Owens
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Restaurants cooking up help for workers of flooded Manchester bistro
By Paul Feely

Ask Tim Baines to recall the events of Feb. 15, and he quickly becomes emotional.

It’s easy to understand why: In what could have been one of the Manchester restaurant community’s darker moments, its members chose instead to shine.

“Everyone thinks of the food service business as ultra-competitive, and it can be,” said Baines, owner of Mint Bistro on Elm Street. “What people don’t know is how close-knit it can be. The support we’ve received from our friends ... It’s a bit overwhelming.”

That support came after he was forced to close the popular downtown eatery when a pipe burst around 6 p.m., flooding the dining area.

“It was right during the busy dinner hour, and we were packed for Presidents Day and some spillover from Valentine’s Day,” said Baines. “A pipe opened up above the ceiling, and it was like Niagara Falls in the dining room. We were able to evacuate everyone out of here, and 20 minutes later the ceiling all came down.”

Baines said the water caused at least $100,000 in damage, with the final tally yet to be determined. The restaurant has been closed since, with Baines tentatively planning to reopen on March 7.

“Right now, that date is looking like it might be overly optimistic, but we’re hopeful,” said Baines. “While that’s longer than we had hoped, the bright side is that we will have new floors, new paint, and a much better situation with our acoustics.”

Baines said after word of the burst pipe spread, members of the Manchester restaurant community began contacting him, looking to help the workers displaced while repairs are made inside Mint Bistro. Read more from

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