Op-Ed by Evan Mallet on Seacoastonline.com
I have cooked for you for over 20 years. I feel boundlessly fortunate to have created, with my wife Denise, Black Trumpet, a restaurant that has served your needs and desires for 13 years. My children grew up in our restaurant, and some of our staff have been with us since the beginning. I can unequivocally and unironically say I have poured everything imaginable into restaurant ownership, because the joy my team and I get from each happy customer more than validates our creative risks and the long, demanding hours.
I am reaching out to our greater community today with this letter to propose that the city of Portsmouth and the state of New Hampshire assemble a task force specifically to tackle the threat of closure our myriad of independently owned restaurants now faces.
Many of you have a connection to Black Trumpet, whether it was an uncle’s 50th birthday dinner, or that first date that became a long-term partnership, or that graduation celebration where everyone at the table ate their first [insert name of strange food ingredient here], or — most commonly -- just sitting at the upstairs bar with friends.
What matters in this moment is not what memories my place has imparted, but rather what service our collective restaurant community has provided since the Blue Strawbery laid the foundation for Portsmouth’s modern culinary identity in 1970. Although I never ate at the Blue Strawbery, my young parents did. While my folks dined in the legendary space my restaurant now occupies at 29 Ceres Street, my babysitting grandparents took me to Hector’s, Yoken’s, Flagstones, The Library, BG’s and Ray’s. If there had been Applebees and Olive Garden back then, I’m sure they would have opted for those spots, but part of Portsmouth’s charm has always been its reluctance to invite the big chains downtown.
Today, Black Trumpet stands shoulder-to-shoulder with every other independent restaurant in our community faced with the threat of permanent closure if we can’t come up with a solution that will give restaurants — one of our city’s proudest bragging rights — hope for survival.
Click here to read the full article on seacoastonline.com.