By Rachel Forrest
Hampton Union, Friday, December 3, 2010
[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]
[Ioanna Raptis photo]
HAMPTON -- It's not common to give a gift instead of getting one during a birthday celebration, but that's just what John Tinios and the Galley Hatch Restaurant did recently.
Smack in the middle of a year-long 40th anniversary celebration, which began on July 5, John Tinios handed over a $5,100 check to help the sports and arts programs at Winnacunnet High School and to build the new Marston School walking path, a half-mile path around the school and playground.
"It means everything to have the Galley Hatch support this," said Marston School Principal Lois Costa. "We're in the final stages of building the walking path and everyone will benefit from it. It's been a four-year project that began with some seed money from the Local Government Center and we're in the final work to have it completely finished. We feel that wellness is a part of education the whole child and this path is for the whole community."
Bill McGowan, principal at Winnacunnet, said the funds will go toward equipment for the auditorium.
"We're going to get an upgrade to our auditorium for presentations for multimedia events, an LCD projector for the auditorium," McGowan said. "This definitely helps with that upgrade. We hope more people sign up with the card to support this."
That card is the Hampton Card, a 40th anniversary loyalty program that makes the money the Galley Hatch raised.
Beginning this past July and until July 5, 2011, diners can purchase the Hampton Card, which supports the high school and the path. For a one time fee of $20, diners get a $15 voucher toward the Galley Hatch, 30 loyalty points and $10 goes to the two school programs. Diners continue to use the card at each visit and get one point for each dollar spent (excluding tax and tip). At 200 points, another $15 gift certificate is awarded and various days during the week get double or even triple points, all a part of saying "Thanks for the past 40 years!"
And it's been a great 40 years since the Tinios family first opened.
"It was called Savory Square and it was about half as big as our whole kitchen now," said Tinios. Now, not only is the kitchen much bigger, but the restaurant sports a specialty foods shop called Provisions and a full bakery.
Bill and Martha Jackson have been coming to the restaurant with their family since 1987.
"The big round table by the fireplace has a lot of significance for our family," said Bill. "We came here with our three boys and sat at that table hundreds of times and had wonderful meals here with my father and my mother-in-law too."
"We never had a bad meal here," said Martha. "It's easily the most consistent in food quality and service and it's a great place to come with family."
Bob Kristiansen comes to the Galley Hatch just about every day.
"I've been coming here since before it was the Galley Hatch. John's father bought the Mustard Pot and then turned it into Savory Square. I know everyone who works here. There's a lot of regulars who come here and some of us socialize outside of the restaurant. John calls me a 'foodie' because I like to try cooking the food I have here but I always try something new. It's been great to feel a part of this for so long."
[Ioanna Raptis photo]