By Tom Donaldson
Atlantic News, Tuesday, March 1, 1994
[The following article is courtesy of Atlantic News.]
[Atlantic News Photo by Tom Donaldson]
HAMPTON BEACH -- "Forever," said Bill Kennedy when asked how long his restaurant has been on the beach. The Kennedy landmark on High Street at Ocean Blvd. has been in operation at that location for over 25 years. Prior to that Kennedy had the Bushway Grill just up the road for 21 years.
Kennedy who learned his trade as a Navy cook and baker is about as well known as anyone on the beach. At one time he built an "Inn" of at least 12 units to get a liquor license and he was the first to test the law and get the license. Unfortunately, a year later everyone on the beach "tested" the law and the Kennedy "Inn" could not survive.
The present restaurant has a wonderful reputation for both eat in and take-out fast food during the six weeks of summer trade, but he is at the mercy of the elements and can not depend on the "season" to survive year-round.
Kennedy has done a number of things to keep in operation year round on the beach. He plans to sell his popular ice cream to area supermarkets and has marketed his homemade doughnuts through catering businesses in the region. His 30 dozen per day business has dropped to 200 dozen and Kennedy, a long time survivor has to take a different approach.
His sit-down area will not be served by waitresses and his take-out business will operate through a new window on the High Street side of his building. That will help business during the summer but the real big change is the move to a year round second location at 682 Lafayette Road.
Kennedy plans to open as soon as possible with a new look, a repaired parking lot and plans for expansion to a full service breakfast, lunch and dinner sit-down restaurant. Good home-style cooking will be the fare and the year round restaurant will handle the vacationers who go uptown during periods of rainy weather on the beach. With the Kennedy "staying power", the future looks bright for Bill Kennedy with uptown and beach locations.
Editor's note: The new restaurant only lasted a few months.