Jumping across the Massachusetts border into New Hampshire, there’s much astir in the restaurant world. New places have opened, others are renovating, and some are expanding. Here’s a quick update from around the state:
The Railpenny Tavern has opened in Epping at 8 Exeter Rd., about half an hour west of Portsmouth. The restaurant took over the space from Zampa, an Italian restaurant that closed last October after 15 years in business. Gillian Roun, formerly of Franklin Oyster House in Portsmouth and Five-O Shore Road restaurant in Ogunquit, ME, serves as executive chef at Railpenny, which is open from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Tuesday and on Thursdays, and from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Meanwhile, down the road in Portsmouth, Louie’s is still closed after suffering damage in a fire that destroyed the neighboring South Street Saloon. However, Louie’s has some events planned while it works to reopen. Coming up this weekend, Louie’s will join Kittery’s Black Birch for a “pig-centric” barbecue in the Black Birch parking lot (2 Government St., Kittery, ME). Tickets are $35 and include food and a drink. Louie’s also collaborated with Black Trumpet Bistro in Portsmouth for a dinner earlier this month.
Over in Somersworth, NH, Bad Lab Beer Company has expansion plans that include a full-blown restaurant, according to Brewhound. The brewery has teamed up with chef Evan Hennessey, who has spent years in the kitchens at acclaimed restaurants throughout the Northeast and owns Stages at One Washington in Dover, NH. The Bad Lab restaurant expansion, which will feature a menu designed to complement beers brewed on-site, will have a “casual yet elevated” setting. Chef Nikki Nocella (a Stages alum) will be in the kitchen at Bad Lab, sourcing ingredients from local farms, including meat for burgers. Planning and hiring are still underway, and Bad Lab will provide details of the restaurant opening on its social media pages.