By: Roger Amsden, Laconia Daily Sun
David McGrath, general manager of New Hampshire Motor Speedway, says that he and the staff at New England’s largest professional sports venue aren’t looking in the rear view mirror as the 2018 event season opens.
“We’re very focused on the events we’ll be hosting this year and maintaining the close relationships we have with our fans and the town of Loudon. We know how to host major events and make them enjoyable experiences. We’re a world class track and we’re engaged and hitting on all cylinders,” said McGrath.
He says NHMS moved quickly to fill in the hole left in its schedule by the loss of its September NASCAR race to its sister track in Las Vegas. This fall will mark the first time in 20 years that the track will have only one top-tier NASCAR race.
PORTSMOUTH -- 900 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria announced the opening of its newest restaurant in Portsmouth, marking the company’s third location in the state. The pizzeria at 2454 Lafayette Road is expected to open in the first week of May.
900 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria uses an authentic dough recipe and local, farm-fresh ingredients in a wood-fired brick oven. The restaurant embodies the rich tradition of true Neapolitan pizza making. In addition to pizza, menu offerings include appetizers, soups, fresh salads, house-made pasta dishes, sandwiches, desserts and more.
“I am excited and proud to open a third location in the incredible city of Portsmouth,” said owner Priscilla Lane Rondeau. “It has been my dream to bring 900 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria to the Seacoast of which I am so fond, and it is an honor to be a part of the city’s vibrant culinary culture.”
The Portsmouth location will offer a similar menu to its sister restaurants in Manchester and Epping. Guests can enjoy lunch, happy hour and dinner seven days a week and this location will also offer al fresco dining during warm weather months. Visit www.900degrees.com.
Read this article on seacoastonline.com.
By KIMBERLEY HAAS
RYE — The Carriage House in Rye reopened this week with new owners.
The historic restaurant at 2263 Ocean Blvd., built in 1931, was sold to R.J. Joyce and James Woodhouse by longtime owner Paul Mackey when he retired earlier this year.
Renovations began in February after Joyce and Woohouse financed the purchase of the restaurant with a Small Business Administration loan from Newburyport Five Cents Savings Bank.
Joyce and Woodhouse were forced to close Louie’s, an Italian restaurant in Portsmouth, last April because of damage from a fire at the neighboring State Street Saloon. The Carriage House marks the third restaurant for the duo, who have been best friends since high school. They greeted their first patrons at The Carriage House on Tuesday night.
The owners have been working to restore the two-story interior while adding some modern updates. The ground level was transformed into a light and bright space showcasing the beauty of Rye Beach across the road. The upstairs bar and dining room features new wood floors and steel gray walls where James Audubon’s “Birds of America” series is the focus. A wood-burning fireplace remains a cozy nook for a cocktail or dinner. Woodhouse said creating exceptional moments in hospitality is his team’s focus and that they hope to exceed everyone’s expectations.
Read more on the unionleader.com
By MICHAEL COUSINEAU
SALEM — L.L. Bean, Legal Sea Foods and Boston Interiors are talking with the developer of Tuscan Village about possibly locating at the nearly $1 billion development.
“It gives New Hampshire a head start into creating its own economic bubble,” developer Joe Faro said during a tour of the site, in the shadow of the Mall at Rockingham Park.
The project, on the former Rockingham Park site, calls for 2.75 million square feet of new development on 170 acres, including 50 acres in North Tuscan Village.
It will create an estimated 6,000 jobs, Faro said.
Upward of 300 people are working on the site now, with 2,000 construction workers expected within the next year, said Faro, CEO of Tuscan Brands Development.
Faro, who lives in Hampton, said the property will produce $10 million in new property taxes yearly.
The first residents to move onto the property — in new apartments with a starting price of about $2,000 a month — are expected in August.
Read more www.unionleader.com
By JOHN KOZIOL
NEW HAMPTON — Alex Ray and Rusty McLear, the businessmen who built the New Hampshire welcome centers on Interstate 93 in Hooksett, are proposing a full-service rest area closer to their homes in the Lakes Region.
New Hampton Commons would be located on the north side of Route 104 in New Hampton. It would extend from just below the Exit 23 northbound onramp and stretch east to the current Irving gas station/Circle K convenience store, to which it would be linked by a connecting road.
Ray, who is the founder of the Common Man Family of Restaurants, and McLear, who developed the Inn at Mill Falls in Meredith as well as several other hotels in the town, said the proposal, which they presented to the NHDOT along with Brad Pernaw on Monday, is still in its earliest stages.
During a telephone interview, Ray said the idea for New Hampton Commons is something he’s had in mind for several years. In 2015 he presented a conceptual plan to both the New Hampton Planning Board and Board of Selectmen, said Town Administrator Barbara Lucas, with both boards responding positively and eager to learn more details.
At that time, however, Ray didn’t own the property that is crucial to his proposal — the historic Washington Mooney House, built circa 1796, that directly abuts the Exit 23 northbound onramp, and that until recently was owned by his longtime friends John and Nancy Conkling.
The plan is to move the house back away from Route 104 and to incorporate it into a development that Ray hopes will “look like a village after it’s done. I want it to be New Hampshire at its best.”
A rest area in New Hampton would serve travelers to both the Mount Washington Valley and the Lakes Region, he said, as well as those going west to Newfound Lake or simply north-south., and
“I like that corner,” Ray said of the parcel where the Washington Mooney House now sits, “and, frankly, I didn’t want to see the normal fast food place or another gas station on the highway.” Ray said he has been working with Irving, which operates the fuel concession at the Hooksett rest areas, on the New Hampton Commons project.
Subject to approval by Irving, he said a connector would be built between the gas station and the Commons, something which would reduce traffic from Route 104.
Situated on more than five acres, the Commons would feature a visitor’s center containing food, concessions and restrooms; four stand-alone buildings, three for retail and one that would sell ice cream; a courtyard; and a parking lot for RVs and 100 cars. A sketch submitted to the P3 Infrastructure Oversight Commission also shows what is described as a “future inn.”
Unlike the two Hooksett welcome centers, which each have a state liquor store, The proposed Commons would not contain a state liquor store, unlike the two Hookset welcome centers, although there is currently liquor store is less than a quarter mile east.
“I wanted the liquor store there,” said Ray, “but we could not move fast enough” before the state built its own.
Read on the www.unionleader.com
BY: KIMBERLY HOUGHTON
BEDFORD — The owner of popular New Hampshire restaurants like T-Bones and the Copper Door promises to bring a “new restaurant concept” next year to the former location of Shorty’s Mexican Restaurant along Route 101 in Bedford.
Tom Boucher of Great NH Restaurants, owner and CEO of T-Bones, CJ’s, Cactus Jack’s and the Copper Door announced his plans for the site Monday night.
Boucher, a longtime Bedford resident, said he is confident his team at Great NH Restaurants knows what type of restaurant will thrive at the location — though he isn’t ready to share all the details just yet.
“We’ve always loved the location and have been developing several different concepts for some time now. This location will be perfect for one of the concepts,” said Boucher in statement. “It won’t conflict with our other popular concepts, Copper Door, T-Bones, or CJ’s.”
The new restaurant will be a “completely new concept”, according to Boucher, designed to be a “gathering place for the community,” featuring a “family friendly” menu.
The former Shorty’s location will undergo extensive renovations, with plans to open in the summer of 2019, said Boucher.
The Bedford Shorty’s closed its doors Jan. 1. The restaurant’s Manchester and Nashua locations remain open for business.
Read more on the www.newhampshire.com
By: John Koziol
NORTH WOODSTOCK — To keep up with modern times and tastes, the Woodstock Inn Brewery has relaunched its popular and well-known brand with new brews, an edgier look — and cans over bottles.
The rollout will culminate, for folks who are 21 years or age and older, with a free Relaunch Party that will be held at 7 p.m. Friday at the brewery.
Founded in 1996 by Scott and Peggy Rice — who a couple years earlier transformed a former train station on Main Street into the Woodstock Inn — the brewery spent more than a year and $100,000 to come up with the redesign.
“It’s a huge shift for us,” Scott Rice said, which essentially entailed “re-inventing the brewery.”
That said, the brewery will continue making its signature mainstays, Pig’s Ear Brown Ale, Red Rack Ale, 4000 Footer IPA and Woodstock Inn IPA, although the hops additions and yeast strains in them have been changed to reflect the evolving palates of consumers, said brewmaster Frank Heidenreich.
Additionally, the brewery will introduce a dozen new libations, some of which will be available exclusively at the brewery, while others also will be sold at retailers throughout New England.
All of the beers and ales coming out of the brewery will be in aluminum cans whose labels feature new art work and messaging; the brewery will be the only place where the beverages can be purchased in glass bottles.
By: ASSOCIATED PRESS
This year's New Hampshire Governor's Conference on Tourism is focusing on Main Street.
The conference by the New Hampshire Travel Council is scheduled for May 14-15 in Concord.
A presentation on May 14 will focus on "New Hampshire Creative Economy: Prosperity Through Arts and Culture," followed by breakout sessions.
The latest tourism industry trends will be discussed May 15 at the Grappone Conference Center with the keynote presentation, "Adapting Geotourism Strategies."
State tourism officials say the travel and tourism industry in New Hampshire employs 68,000 people and contributes $315 million toward the state budget via the room and meals tax.
More than 39 million travelers visit New Hampshire every year, generating about $5.5 billion in spending.
Read this article on nhpr.org
By: The Conway Daily Sun
The White Mountain Hotel and Resort has donated $15,000 to support the North Conway alternative transportation and recreation path project.
The proposed North Conway rec path project will cost $2.3 million to complete.
The MWV Trails Association Capital Campaign Committee has been hard at work raising money through grants and individual donors and has reached 80 percent of the project goal.
The committee said it is grateful for the support received from The White Mountain Hotel and Resort.
Hotel owner Gary Sullivan "is one of our enduring leaders in the Hotel industry here in the Mount Washington Valley," said Ted Wroblewski, co-chair of the MWVTA Capital Campaign Committee.
By: Michael Kitch, NH Business Review
A proposal by a private consortium to acquire the 89-mile turnpike system in New Hampshire has been shelved, but the Public-Private Partnership Oversight Commission last month agreed to consider plans for a full-service rest area at Exit 23 in New Hampton, similar to the ones on Interstate 93 in Hooksett.
The commission expressed interest in the proposal by Alex Ray of the Common Man family of restaurants and Rusty McLear of Hampshire Hospitality Holdings, the team that transformed the rest areas in Hooksett, to undertake a similar project further north at Exit 23, where the highway intersects with Route 104 leading west to Bristol and east to Meredith.
Ray told the commission that what the partners call “New Hampton Commons” could either replace or complement the existing rest areas in Canterbury and Sanbornton, both of which operate limited hours and offer sparse amenities.
He said that some years ago he purchased 5.5 acres at the interchange of I-93 and NH 104 abutting both a Department of Transportation facility, which includes a park-and-ride lot, and an Irving gas station.