A Hidden Gem of a Restaurant
Cuttings Northside Cafe is all in the Cuttings Family
One day in 2007, the Cuttings family chanced upon an old building with a “For Lease” sign on Lyme Road. But it wasn’t just any old building. It was Grandpa Jimmy Cuttings’ old place, built from material he had salvaged from his burned down house on the very same plot of land. Jimmy, 17 and a Hanover High School student at the time of the fire, designed the place himself. It was used as a general store run by Frank, Jimmy’s son, until it was later sold.
It was not until 2007 and the “for lease” sign that Cole Cuttings and his mother, Dina Cuttings, decided to get the place and bring it back into the family. It came naturally for Cole and Dina to take it. Jimmy was, after all, Dina's father and Cole's grandfather, and he had literally laid them a foundation to work on. So, in that little building filled with family history, Cole and Dina combined their skills to start a sandwich and pizza place that we now know as the Cuttings Northside Cafe.
Dina had experience managing various establishments in the area, including the Etna General Store with Cole’s father Frank, where they especially learned the work of managing a deli counter. Cole decided to spend a year in Arizona after college. He worked at a pizza parlor for most of his time there, in roles from delivery driver, to assistant manager, and everything in between. The family’s combined expertise called for getting into the restaurant business, specifically sandwiches and pizzas. “When we saw the building up for lease we thought, hey, that’s kind of cool...we have a lot of history here,” Cole Cuttings said.
And from there, they started a game plan. “The idea was to have affordable, homestyle, delicious food for the everyday person.” And although there have been many additions to the cafe, and changes in the area around it, the cafe stays true to serving the everyday person. “A lot of employees come for their lunchbreaks from CRREL (Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory), which is right next door. We get people stopping by on their way to work or when heading back home, and also kids from the high school across the road after the day is done.”
“There’s a little bit of everyone from the family helping out with the cafe. My dad Frank helps with lunch at the place and my grandmom Elaine comes in to run the register and all the regulars even call her ‘gram’. My mom helps with the books and the catering,” Cole said.
Cole recalls a couple that used to came in once a week with their two children who went to school in the area. Even though they don’t come in weekly anymore since their daughters went to college, their usual order of 'Two Chicken Caesar salads, one with no olives' is still fresh in the Cuttings’ memory for the occasional re-visit. “Sometimes you lose people for reasons like that, when they move or are no longer frequenting the area, but when they do get a chance to stop by it’s always great.”
So if you get the chance to by, you'll get a warm welcome. Even the menu reflects a family vibe. Each item is named after a family member and their favorite sandwich. The Grammy’s BLT and the Pappa’s Pastrami, for instance, are both very popular orders to consider!