By: Hadley Barndollar, Seacoast Online
What will soon become a community gathering spot fully-equipped with good food and spirits is currently a five-days-a-week construction zone, as Sea Dog Brewing picks up speed on its downtown opening.
The 9 Water St. building, formerly the Loaf and Ladle, is undergoing a $1 million renovation. Sea Dog hoped to be open by last summer after enthusiastic resident support pushed the project through Zoning Board of Adjustment approval. Now, it’s “fingers-crossed” for an April opening.
“Certain things do take a long time, especially when you’re dealing with iconic properties,” said Jim Bunting, director of operations for Sea Dog. “When we’ve worked in beautiful downtowns before, these are buildings that are very important to the community and typically involve an historic element. If you’re trying to take an early 19th-century building and bring it into the 21st century, it’s an awful lot and it takes a lot of effort.”
Sea Dog looks to add to the rising tide of dining options in Exeter and serve as a gathering place for all ages.
"I came from a small town myself and I know how important having places like this is,” Bunting said. “A lot of people have laid the groundwork to make Exeter what it is today. We just want to contribute to that.”
While construction took place inside the building Wednesday, Don Perkins, general manager for the Exeter Sea Dog, said the restaurant will sport darker wood hues and cement bars, “a warm feeling.”
On the first floor, a bar will overlook the river. “The vibe in this room is where the locals will go,” Perkins said. “You’ll see Bob from accounting, someone you went to high school with 10 years ago. The spot, seven days a week, 365 days a year.”
The basement area will have lounge sofas, games and possibly a pool table. On the other side of the basement will be a small brewery for Sea Dog to brew beer onsite.
Read the complete article at seacoastonline.com.