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Thayers Olde English Pub to close

January 09, 2019
LITTLETON—The "Olde English Pub" at Thayers Inn closed on Dec. 30, with management citing financial difficulties.

General Manager Gary Plourde attributed the closure to an increase in property taxes, although he acknowledged that there were "many financial and operational considerations."

The Hotel remains open, and will continue to operate for both regular guests, meetings, and events. Only the restaurant, which was renamed last year, will close.

"It is hard to turn away from it. However, we will focus our efforts on developing the lodging side of the business and feel that another operator would be better suited to operate the restaurant, maybe with a different concept," Plourde added.

The "Olde English Pub" began operation as such just this past year, and looked poised to take advantage of the ongoing boom in craft beer operations in the wider region. In the same 12 month period, two beer-focused locations opened in the Littleton area: Iron Furnace Brewing in Franconia, and most recently the Littleton Freehouse and Eatery (which serves local beers, but does not brew its own). At present, Franconia, Bethlehem, Littleton, as well as Lancaster, all have local breweries. Bus-based brewery tours have also started up.

Plourde considers it likely that the space which the Olde English Pub occupied will be leased to another restaurant or business, especially in light of ongoing development in the Mill Street/River District area.

"We want to thank all the employees of the restaurant for their hard work, dedication and professionalism – they are a great team. We will do our best to help them find other work. We also want to thank our loyal customers for their support over the years," Plourde said. "We regret closing the restaurant, but it is the best way forward for this landmark hotel."

Plourde's remarks suggest that the restaurant was not a major money maker: the Pub joins Main Street neighbor Bailiwicks, another dark-wood, dinner, and drinks establishment, which closed last year. Although the difficult circumstances surrounding the closure of Bailiwicks have since emerged, it is possible that competition with the new crop of breweries, all of which also serve food, factored into the decline of these two downtown restaurants.

The location that is today Thayers Inn was first established in 1843, and claims to be the oldest hotel in the White Mountains. Over the years, it has been a locus of tourism, a Main Street landmark, and stopping point for political hopefuls, including more than a few presidential candidates.

AJ Coleman
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Varney Smith
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