NEW BOSTON — Gone for a while, but not forgotten, the name of New Boston’s hometown heroine is once again gracing the side of the town’s largest restaurant.
Over the last decade, the former Molly Stark Tavern, named for the indomitable wife of Revolutionary War General John Stark, has changed hands three times, first becoming the New Boston Tavern, and then Kiki’s. But in July, three people with lots of experience running restaurants in New Hampshire took the establishment over and have named it once again in honor of Mrs. John Stark.
Molly’s is now owned by Carol Sheehan of Red Arrow Diner fame, Neville Pereira of Ignite and Hooked in Manchester, and Liu Vaine, a restaurant consultant who formerly ran the Draft Sports Bar in Concord and Jokers in Manchester.
Sheehan, who is juggling seven restaurants, said Molly’s opened officially last Friday with a focus on family-friendly dining.
The restaurant, which was most recently owned by Kirstin Montgomery, was left in great shape, and there wasn’t much that needed to be done to reopen, the new owners said. The restaurant, and the former tavern located in a barn across the parking lot, are both offering a full menu of casual cuisine.
The day-to-day operations of Molly’s are being handled by Vaine, who said he was invited by Sheehan and Pereira to visit the property earlier this year and immediately knew he wanted to be part of the new venture.
“I was walking the property with my daughter, and I saw how happy she was,” Vaine said. “I just fell in love with the restaurant and New Boston. It’s such a beautiful place.”
Vaine said out he wanted to create a place he would feel comfortable bringing his children, but without the expense.
“My daughter is three, and she’s a picky eater so she usually eats pasta with butter, but at some of the restaurants we go to, we end up paying $6 for something that costs 25 cents to make,” he said. “So we decided that kids 5 and under would eat free off the children’s menu.”
Vaine said he’s also going to be reaching out to local schools to offer older children a chance at free meals if they do well in their studies.
The menu includes traditional family fare like macaroni and cheese and burgers, but there are a few surprises as well including haddock piccata, fish tacos, Asian steak tips and a mahi Reuben. The average price of an entrée is around $12, and the most expensive thing on the menu is a New York strip steak at $21.
“We’re not operating with a permanent menu yet because we want the people in this area to give us feedback on what they want to see on the menu. We want them to tell us what works and what doesn’t,” Vaine said. “We really want this restaurant to be about this community.”
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Nancy Bean Foster may be reached at email@example.com.