The owner-operator of The Birch on Elm restaurant plans to open a more relaxed Asian eatery nearly across the street.
Joel Soucy is working to open Noodz at 968 Elm St. this fall. The menu will include Vietnamese, Korean and Japanese street food offerings.
"It's kind of a clash-of-cultures concept," Soucy said.
"The Birch is very involved as our test kitchen," he said last week. "We always planned to birth new concepts out of there."
Unlike the "full, two-hour experience" eating at The Birch at 931 Elm St., customers at Noodz will order at the counter and wait at their table for food to be delivered, he said.
Noodz will be open for lunch and dinner as well as late nights on Friday and Saturdays to capture the post-bar crowd.
The restaurant's Facebook page describes the vibe as "Asian-inspired street food in a fast, upbeat and urban environment."
Noodz is just another example of the expanding restaurant scene in the city.
"It is very encouraging that nearly two decades into its downtown renaissance, Manchester's dining and nightlife scene continues to grow and diversify," said Mike Skelton, president and CEO of the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce.
"The arena, ballpark, Millyard and downtown business growth, higher-education growth and increased density of downtown residential options have all contributed to the development of the dining and nightlife scene over the years," Skelton said.
Meanwhile, people going for a drink at Cheddar & Rye across from City Hall might not realize that boards on the wall are from a 19th century barn and that sections of the bar are made from whiskey barrels.
"Everything is repurposed," co-owner Liu Vaine said last week.
The whiskey section opened Oct. 4 while the cheddar side has been serving grilled cheese sandwiches since March at 889 Elm St.
Vaine said a friend made him an offer he couldn't refuse: If Vaine tore down a barn on South Main Street in Concord, "I could have all the wood and anything in it."
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