May 15, 2008

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Eat, drink and chill outdoors
Summertime seating begins
By Brian Early bearly@hippopress.com

Nearly a month before the official kickoff of summertime, many local bars and restaurants have already declared it summer with the opening of their summer decks for outdoor eating and drinking.

Boozing in the sun is a favorite pastime of many patrons, and businesses are well aware of it. Many venues see an increase of business when outdoor seating opens for the season, although how much business is realized all depends on how much seating there is.

“It definitely rises our business,” said Chris Davis, general manager at Shorty’s Mexican Roadhouse in Nashua. “It’s a small seating area, but we see an influx of business when it’s open.”

Many restaurants in downtown Nashua and Manchester have only a few tables outdoors. Others, like the Derryfield, Jillian’s and Cheers, have decks for outdoor eating, drinking and music. Eric Cormier, the booking manager at Jillian’s, said he sees an increase of business somewhere in the range of 40 percent when outdoor seating opens, as the deck can hold around 180 people.

Though the sun is mostly here, inclement weather, cold days or a shortage of staff can keep outdoor sections from opening.

Here’s where you can go to eat, drink and be merry outdoors.

Manchester
• Derryfield Country Club (625 Mammoth Road, 623-2880) starts music on the deck Sunday, May 18, and will continue with music most nights of the week, along with their music inside. The deck gives a great view of the golf course.
• The Flambeaux (1181 Elm St., 626-0304) has outdoor seating, but currently, only food is served outside.
• Hilton Garden Inn (101 S. Commercial St., 669-2222) tends to have jazz Thursday through Sunday on the decks near the ballpark, although there is no jazz on game days.
• Jillian’s Billard’s Club (50 Philippe Cote Drive, 626-7636) has a large seating area along the Merrimack River and Granite Street. On weekends, there is music on the decks. The grand opening for their deck is the weekend of May 30, when they start music on Friday and Saturday nights. This weekend, if the weather holds, they’ll have a soft opening. Starting June 8 and alternating every other Sunday, Jillan’s will host Reggae on the River with reggae music on the back deck.
• McGarvey’s (1097 Elm St., 627-2721) has a few seats outdoors along with a bag toss game along Manchester’s main drag.
• Murphy’s Taproom (494 Elm St., 644-3535) has a sidewalk full of talbes and chairs along Elm Street.
• Penuche’s Bar & Grill (96 Hanover St., 626-9830) has a section along the side of the building with tables and umbrellas.
• The Shaskeen (909 Elm St., 625-0246) has a few table and seats near City Hall, in the heart of downtown.
• Wally and Bernie’s (20 Old Granite St., 641-2583) opens its summer deck Friday, May 16, for the summer. With a swing set, outdoor seating with tiki torches, a bar and a DJ, there is much to play with in The Playground.
• The Wild Rover (21 Kosciuszko St., 669-7722), has a few more chairs outside for outdoor patrons.

Nashua
• Fody’s Great American Tavern (9 Clinton St., 577-9015) has a couple of benches and tables outside along the side of the building to fit patrons seeking food and/or beverage.
• It’s still a bit cold out for Manhattan on Pearl (70 E. Pearl St., 578-5557) to open its outdoor seating, as it faces north, but the owners plan to open it by Memorial Day. They’ve changed the seating here as well. Last year they had hightop tables and chairs; this year it will be low seating, which they think customers will find more comfortable.
• There are 13 tables outside Martha’s Exchange Restaurant & Brewing Co. (185 Main St., 883-8781) where patrons can relax with friends under the summer sun.
• While you can’t hear the jazz sitting outside Michael Timothy’s Urban Bistro (212 Main St., 595-9334), there is quite a bit of seating to enjoy with company.
• Nashua Garden (121 Main St., 886-7363) has limited outside seating, but outside seating nonetheless.
• The Peddler’s Daughter (48 Main St., 880-8686) has seating along the sides of the building along Main Street and the Nashua River.
• Pennuche’s Ale House (16 Bicentennial Square, 595-9831) doesn’t have an actual deck but has an enclosed section of pavement roped off with plenty of seating. From there, it can be easy to peer through the windows to watch baseball games on the inside television.
• Shorty’s Mexican Roadhouse (Nashua Mall, 882-4070) has enclosed outdoor seating to make the atmosphere feel more tropical than a mall parking lot. Music is planned for Sundays starting in June.
• Villa Blanca (194 Main St., 598-0500) has four seats outside for your sitting pleasure.

Concord
• At Alan’s of Boscawen Restaurants (133 N. Main St., Boscawen, 753-6631) the deck is open for eating and drinking.
• The Barley House (132 N. Main St., 228-6363) has seating alongside their business with a good view of downtown and the state capitol.
• If the temperature is above 75 degrees, Cheers Grille & Bar (17 Depot St., 228-0180) will have seating outdoors on their deck. If there is music to happen, it will probably be on Thursdays as the days heat up.
• The Draft Sports Bar and Grill (67 S. Main St., 227-1175) has a few table outside for eating and drinking.
• The Green Martini (6 Pleasant St., 223-6672) has a few tables along the along side the front of the building.
• The back deck isn’t opened yet at the Makris Lobster & Steak House (354 Sheep Davis Road, 225-7665), but it should be soon. On Thursday night during the summer, there is music on the deck.
• Margaritas (1 Bicentennial Square, 224-2821) has two decks for outdoor seating, one with seven tables, one with two.
• Uno Chicago Grill (15 Fort Eddy Road, 226-8667) has a number of tables outside.