New in West Lebanon : Irish Pub, Anyone?
A Tuohy Family Tradition
There is a family of pub owners who have been growing in the Upper Valley. They are in New Hampshire with various locations and now their newest locale gives the Colonial Plaza a starring role. Just as I get mixed with that infamous spaghetti corner in Lebanon, I often have to verify my bearings when it comes to various plazas around here. The Colonial is the LaValley plaza- just to be clear for those, like myself, who are more visual. For the more detailed, like my husband, it is at 5 Airport road in West Lebanon.
Ahhh, the Irish and their pubs. Josh and Joe Tuohy are continuing a family tradition, it seems. Their parents started the Newbury location, then came Lebanon, Newport and Hanover. What we all knew as the Seven Barrel Brewery at the intersection of Interstate 89 and Route 12 A is now their fifth progeny : Salt hill Pub. As a matter of fact, when you exit from the highway heading north on 89 at #20, you might catch a glimpse of the old beige sign : Seven Barrel Brewery. Is it a sign of ye olde giving way to the new?
The walls have been painted a deep Beaujolais Nouveau, rather fitting, and the dark wooden tables and chairs are set in an open pattern with an upper level of more seating around most of the space. Everything feels fresh and clean and everyone is most welcoming. The bar is across one of the long walls and instead of brewing they have a full service cocktail bar as well as eighteen different beers on tap. I love a big blackboard with specials and this is exactly what features the various yeasty concoctions and local ciders. Two large flat screen televisions adorn one of the south walls but the volume was kept blessedly low - sorry sports lovers, no insults intended!
What drew me especially is the chef, Aric Eaglestone, who is a graduate of the CIA, that fine culinary institution that is not under Mr. Pompeo's purview. Aric has been at the helm of the Sunapee location for almost a decade and will season this new pub's menu for full effect and success. There is a gluten-free delicious-fall-off-the-fork-pork shank or perhaps some fried Brussels sprouts with bacon and shaved Parmesan cheese? Next time I might choose the vegetarian Reuben with roast beets, sauerkraut, melted Swiss cheese and 1000 Island dressing. There are salads and sandwiches as well as the mighty signature burgers.
Not only will shoppers now have a new respite for satiating purposes but travellers, too, may rest assured that an easy swing off Exit 20 will lead them to a little Irish cheer. The bar crowd will be happy to know that a lot of musical entertainment is to continue. The proper opening night celebration will be the 21st of April from 7:00pm to 11:00 pm with Jason Cann performing. But check the website for a lot more! It is open daily right now.
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