Welcome Back To The Eatery
By Liz Premo, Atlantic News Staff Writer
Atlantic News, Thursday, October 7, 2004
[Atlantic News Photo by Liz Premo]
'Inn' With The Old
By Liz Premo, Atlantic News Staff Writer
Atlantic News, Thursday, September 17, 2004[The following article is courtesy of Atlantic News.]
HAMPTON — Every "i" is dotted, every "t" is crossed, and plans are underway to start "getting all our ducks in a row," according to Kevin Harrington, owner of the Seaside Eatery at Seabrook Beach.
Indeed, things are looking just ducky for Kevin and his business partner, Ed Comeau, both of whom are preparing to open a new — yet somehow quite familiar — restaurant at the rear of the Inn of Hampton on Route 1 in Hampton.
For Kevin, it's a welcome return to his business roots: It was at the same site in 1982 that the Harrington family established the original Eatery. The new incarnation, officially dubbed the Hampton Eatery LLC, will soon join its five-year-old Seabrook Beach counterpart as one of the Seacoast area's most popular restaurants.
"We're going to do both," affirms Kevin, noting with a chuckle that Red Sox great Johnny Pesky — an Eatery regular — "is gonna have two choices" when he comes to town to dine with his Breakfast Club entourage.
"We're bringing the nuts and bolts of the breakfast menu" to the new site, continues Kevin. He explains that he streamlined the original Eatery menu when he opened the Seaside Eatery, where he has built up a clientele of regulars who will be glad to know that the Seabrook Beach restaurant will remain open for business.
"We've made a lot of new friends [there]," Kevin says.
As for the new Hampton Eatery, "people will recognize it right away," promises Kevin, listing a number of menu items (breakfast fare, soups, quiches, deli sandwiches and more) that are customer favorites. "We'll bring back all the specials they'll remember," he adds.
The restaurant's floor plan, entrance and interior décor have changed dramatically over the last couple of years but, Kevin says, "We're hoping to recapture the same feel" of the original Eatery. "We hoping to brighten it up [and] have it look a lot like it did before. We want to make people feel like we never left."
Kevin acknowledges his partnership with Ed Comeau is the defining factor in making this newest business venture take flight.
"I wouldn't have done it if I didn't have him [as co-owner]," says Harrington. Ed, who in the past has turned out tasteful cuisine at Widow Fletcher's in Hampton, has been teaching culinary arts at North Shore Voc Tech in Middleton, Massachusetts for 12 years. Being a partner in a restaurant venture, says Kevin, is "a new direction for him."
According to Kevin's wife Patti Harrington, both her husband and Ed share "the same work ethic. It's a good fit."
Kevin reveals that there has been a lot of positive reaction from those who have heard that the Eatery is coming "home." He adds that over the last five years, he has had many people ask him, "When are you coming back to Hampton?"
In fact, he says, once as he was closing up for the day at the Seabrook site, a woman who had seen the Seaside Eatery's sign stopped to tell him that she recalled a similarly-named place in Hampton where she would "come in for apricot muffins." Kevin acknowledged that she had indeed made the correct connection.
"There was something about it that really stuck with people," says Kevin. The good feelings apparently stuck with him as well. "I always felt like I'd be back in Hampton," he says. Predictions are already being made as to "Who's going to be that first one?" to set foot in the new Hampton Eatery.
The Inn of Hampton, behind which the restaurant facility is located, recently changed hands when Peter Anastos of Yarmouth, Maine purchased the business. Maine Course Hospitality Group (MCHG), based in Freeport, Maine, is leasing and operating the business from Anastos. MCHG Director of Operations Sean Riley, says Kevin, has been "a big proponent" in bringing the Hampton Eatery LLC back to town.
According to Patti, the menu at the Hampton Eatery will feature the same delicious breakfast and lunch items that their customers enjoy on a daily basis. 'We're carrying the same menu; we're not changing anything," she promises. They are also looking into having a lounge featuring a pub-type menu that lists sandwiches and lighter fare.
Plans have officially begun to get the Hampton Eatery LLC up and running and open for business. "The search is over; the wait is over," says Kevin, "so here we go!" Hampton Eatery LLC is located at the rear of 815 Lafayette Road in Hampton. The Seaside Eatery is located at 186 Ocean Boulevard at Seabrook Beach. For more information, call (603) 474-1028.