Big Changes Coming to Beach Restaurant

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A restaurant/hotel is joining in the renovation trend thanks to a brand new look designed to freshen up the building

By Kyle Stucker

Hampton-North Hampton Patch , March 4, 2013

[The following article is courtesy of

McGuirk's Restaurant

McGuirk's Restaurant [


 The recently-improved facade of Ocean Boulevard will soon change once again thanks to some significant structural and aesthetic upgrades at a popular restaurant and hotel on the southern edge of the boardwalk.

McGuirk's Ocean View is slated to receive a large facelift and renovation to give it more of a "seascape kind of look" and address various maintenance issues within the structure of the curved, brass and glass atrium on the front of the 95 Ocean Blvd. establishment, said Tom McGuirk, who opened the business in 1991.

"We’ve actually been talking about these upgrades for a number of years now," said McGuirk, who also said there are other projects in the works for his family's business. "It just worked into our timing and it also helps that the Sea Spray [Condominiums] project is going on at the same time. We don’t necessarily want to be the building right next door that needs some updating.

"Owners in the area are very proud of their buildings. They're always investing into their buildings, and that's what we've done. This is where our family lives. We want something we can be proud of."

The biggest change, McGuirk said, is that the curved, "outdated" atrium will go, making way for a new flat-roof structure with large, vertical panes of flat glass. The curved atrium and the seals around some of its glass panes were "failing," causing water infiltration and reduced overall visibility, which combined with the dated nature of the structure made it a perfect candidate for replacement, according to McGuirk.

The new roof structure will also transform the building's side decks. McGuirk said it'll turn them into "very large front decks," increasing the overall space and bringing a new feel to McGuirk's, the exterior aesthetics of which haven't changed much since the atrium was installed in 1986 while the building was known as the Lincoln House.

"It's going to look very nice," said McGuirk. "Basically, this is just the beginning of the renovations that we're planning. We have a number of different components to that building... and we're going to do some improvements going up over the next couple of years.

"We've put money in [the kitchen and interior] every year, but this is going to be the most visual [change] we've made... Now you're going to start seeing the fruits of those investments."

McGuirk declined to disclose the full cost of the project, although he said when combined with the costs to tear down a building behind McGuirk's in order to create a parking lot, the money invested over the past five years is roughly half a million dollars. McGuirk also disclosed that the atrium project isn't the largest upgrade McGuirk's has had in its history, as work to fix a 1994 pipe burst that "destroyed the front half of the building" was more costly.

The work comes as part of the ongoing rebirth of Hampton Beach, and follows the $14.5 million improvements made by the state at the Seashell Stage and Oceanfront Pavilion, as well as improvements and notable changes made by other local businesses.

McGuirk said he doesn't see that the beach season is currently being extended and he said it's questionable whether it can actually happen. McGuirk did say, though, that part of the reason he's "spend[ing] the extra money" to make significant upgrades to his business is because he wants the business "to be ready... just in case Hampton Beach ever becomes year-round."

The atrium renovations will begin in mid March and be finished by June 1, according to McGuirk. The work will be the first phase of a three-phase project that will be completed in its entirety by June 2014. Other improvements include new windows, siding and decks for the entire building, as well as new sliding doors and a new rail system for the hotel, numerous upgrades for the hotel's penthouse, and more.

"By mid April you'll see a tremendous difference in that building," said McGuirk, who added that McGuirk's will open for the season on May 17. "Only six weeks from now, what you see today will be an entirely different building. A year from now, it'll be even more so. We're planning to do more and more, and I think that's because we're invested in this beach. I've been here for 40 years — I'm not going anywhere."

McGuirk's Restaurant sign

McGuirk's Restaurant sign [