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Katie McQuaid's Scene in Manchester: Three block parties coming to Hanover Street, thanks to local chef

August 31. 2018 10:49PM
Robb Curry, right, and Kyle Davis, owners of Madear's restaurant, are organizing three block parties on Hanover Street near their restaurant, starting next week. (Allegra Boverman/Union Leader)

Robb Curry is getting things done around Manchester. In June, he got a pride flag raised at City Hall for the first time in Queen City history. His latest enterprise is getting more people to experience and appreciate the section of the Cultural District that is growing beyond the Palace Theatre block of Hanover Street.

The chef and owner of Madear’s restaurant is planning three block parties in the coming months that will shut down Hanover Street between Pine and Union streets, attracting people with outdoor dining, music and other seasonal activities.

“This is a way for us to celebrate our one-year anniversary and do it with community,” said Curry, whose Southern charm and hospitality shines wherever he goes.

Inside the restaurant he owns with his husband, Kyle Davis, he’s known for chatting up customers in between preparing and serving southern and Cajun tapas dishes inspired by his grandmother, along with his childhood in Baton Rouge.

“Celebration” is the theme of the first block party, next Saturday, Sept. 8, from 4 to 8 p.m. Outdoor dining will be offered by Madear’s and neighboring restaurants, including the new Antojitos Colombianos.

“They have great empanadas,” Curry raved.

All three block parties are free to attend, but tickets will be required to get into the closed-off area. You can find them on by searching for “Madear’s Hanover Street Block Party.” Curry will also have tickets available at the restaurant.

At this dog-friendly party, nearby Bark City doggy daycare will team up with Canine Commitment of New England to bring puppies for play and adoption. There will also be a DJ and drag show.

The second block party, planned for Saturday, Oct. 27, is Halloween-themed with a costume contest, candy, pumpkin-carving and painting.

“Family and Thanks” is the theme of the final block party on Saturday, Nov. 24. Curry is hoping to have a gumbo cook-off and pie contest, but he’s still working out permitting logistics with the health department. No doubt that Curry will find a way to make it happen.

“Where there’s a will there’s a way,” he said. “And where there’s a way, Robb’s gonna walk it.”

As the event approaches, visit the Madear’s Facebook page for updated attractions and activities. Anyone interested in volunteering can email Curry at

Continued culture shock

You don’t have to wait for the block parties to visit this underutilized block of Hanover Street. This Wednesday, Sept. 5, Kelley Stelling Contemporary art gallery is teaming up with Concord’s Red River Theatres to bring an outdoor movie to Bronstein Park, which sits on Hanover Street between Union and Beech streets.

Wes Anderson’s whimsical film “Moonrise Kingdom” will begin after sunset at around 7:15 p.m. Attendees should bring blankets and chairs.

This free outdoor movie is part of Red River Theatres’ Sunset Cinema Series sponsored by the New Hampshire Institute of Art, Currier Museum of Art, The Palace Theatre, Mint Bistro and Restoration Cafe.

Comic culture

A man who has lived on Sesame Street for almost 50 years will be one of the special guests at next weekend’s Granite State Comicon, Sept. 8 and 9.

Caroll Edwin Spinney, who has performed both Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch since 1969, will hold a Q&A session on Saturday from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

The Downtown Manchester Hotel will be swarming with fans, many in costume, of comics and pop culture. They will be there to interact with dozens of special guests, including entertainers, comic creators and cosplayers.

There will also be vendors, kids’ activities, costume contests, gaming and special events, including a yoga class taught by Wonder Woman. Fans of the Netflix show “Stranger Things” can take their picture in an interactive display of the Byers’ living room set.

For a list of the weekend’s events, comic creators and entertainment guests, visit

What have you seen that should be shared in The Scene? Send your ideas to Katie at

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