By Patrick Cronin
Hampton Union, Tuesday, June 30, 2009
[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]
[Patrick Cronin Photo]
HAMPTON -- Over the year's O'Leary's Grille has received the reputation of just being a bar, but its owner says he wants to change that.
"We want the families to come back," said Bob O'Leary. "This used to be a family restaurant, and we want those families to come back."
The popular establishment on Route 1 in Hampton recently underwent $15,000 worth of renovations.
Gone from the main room is the bar and in its place is brand new family dining area.
The bar has been relocated to another room, which at one point was the game room.
"I guess you could say we have come full circle," O'Leary said. "This is what it used to be when we first opened nearly 14 years ago."
O'Leary said they have been looking at returning to their roots for years. However, it was just recently decided that the change should be made.
"We have been talking about this for a while," O'Leary said.
O'Leary said they started out as a family restaurant, but over the years started to cater more and more to the bar crowd.
"At the time it saved the business, but it took a life of its own and drove people away we didn't want to drive away," O'Leary said.
O'Leary said with the renovations, the restaurant will be able to again offer the food it became known for.
"Seafood, seafood, seafood," said O'Leary. "But we also have everything else you would find from chicken and steak tips to pizza."
They also have a kids' menu and several flat screen television sets for "dads who wants to keep an eye on the score."
O'Leary said he runs the restaurant with his wife, Laura. His son Bobby also helps out and when his daughter Kiely is older, he sees her helping out as well.
"Hopefully she will bussing tables for us in a few years," O'Leary said.
O'Leary said he hopes people give them another chance.
"I think once people come back and see the changes we made," Laura said. "They will want to come back."
"I just hope people forgive us for out poor decision and give us a second chance," O'Leary said. "People used to enjoy this place at one time and we want them back."
Owner: Bob and Laura O'Leary
Location: 816 Lafayette Road, Hampton, NH 03842