Will WRJ Become a Foodie Destination Village?
New and unusual restaurants opening this fall.
The food scene in downtown White River Junction is exploding with exciting new options. In addition to the Railside Cafe on South Main, which we wrote about last week, the J.J. Newberry building is home to restaurants that villagers never would have dreamed of back when the store was a five and dime.
The expanded Tuckerbox has a new look.
The Tuckerbox Cafe reopened on Aug 17 next door to its original location in a portion of the Newberry Building. The Upper Valley has responded enthusiastically to Vural Oktay's Turkish menu. It was often hard to get a table without a reservation. Meanwhile renovations began in the old Tuckerbox. The wall between the two stores will be taken out and the two will become a single store later next month. The expanded Tuckerbox will have 90 seats and a full bar.
Across the foyer from Tuckerbox, in the south end of the Newberry building, will be a new bakery and cafe called Piecemeal Pies. It is a British-inspired meat pie shop with lunchtime soups, salads, and plenty of sweets. “Since nothing goes better with a Pork & Parsnip Pie than a cold glass of cider,” proclaims the shop's website, “our bar will feature a wide variety of hard ciders from throughout New England." If you want to read more about it, dailyUV blogger Regan Betts profiled it last month.
So when can we eat pork pie with a cold glass of cider?
“I’m avoiding declaring an opening day because, as it always goes with construction and restaurants, things get delayed,” says chef/owner Justin Barrett. “It will definitely be September though.”
The Newberry Market is also planning to open next month. While not exactly a food venue—though it could be— the 3,500 square foot market space is located between Piecemeal Pies and the Tuckerbox. It can be rented for $300 per day for things like auctions, book, church or estate sales and pop-up stores. Except on Thursdays. Thursdays will be “Market Day in the Junction” — a farmer’s market kind of arrangement where table rentals will be available for $15- $45. Here's more information about it from the Gates-Briggs Company.
Getting back to our South Main Street food crawl.... We've been told that a Tex-Mex restaurant will be opening in the old American Legion building. (That's the building with the new modern facade that was converted into commercial space and 22 apartments.)
We checked in with building owner Matt Bucy, who didn't confirm or deny the Tex-Mex restaurant. “Not ready for an announcement yet,” Bucy writes. “I know word is out on the street but we aren't far enough along in planning to make a formal announcement. Probably in the fall sometime.”