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Beer lovers should love Shade Bar and Grill

Union Leader Correspondent

January 24. 2013 8:57PM
Eric Kirchberger, left, director of sales and marketing at the Radisson, and general manager Sean Smith stand in front of Shade Bar and Grill, which will open the first week of February. The bar will feature some 20 beers on tap and a large array of bottled beers from the local to the international. (SIMN ROS/Union Leader Correspondent)

NASHUA - Beer enthusiasts of all stripes will have a 22-tap watering hole beginning next month, with the opening of Shade Bar and Grill at the Radisson Hotel.

"It's something we think Nashua will like very much and will be very successful here," said Eric Kirchberger, the hotel's marketing and sales director. "We really think that it will be a product that we haven't seen in the local market that will make us unique."

In addition to what could count as the city's largest selection of beers, Shade will offer a full menu of bistro-style offerings. Kirchberger described the menu options as high quality comfort food.

But it is the beer selection that will be Shade's unique contribution to Nashua's culinary ecosystem.

Tony Jarvis, operations consultant at the hotel, said the beer philosophy is "to be constantly introducing something new into the environment and to the palate."

Jarvis noted that the appreciation for beer is a growing movement. And it's something the new restaurant hopes to capitalize on.

"We're looking for the opportunity to introduce (customers) to a lot of the microbrews and what's happening in our region, as well as what's happening across the United States."

Though the variety of beers at Shade will evolve with time, the plan is to offer Hooksett-based beers White Birch Brewing and Red Hook from the Seacoast, as well as Tuckerman, a Conway brewery.

Beers from across New England, such as Sam Adams and Wachusett, will also be offered on tap.

In addition to the draft selections, Shade will feature a large array of bottled beers, delving into national microbrews and international beers.

General Manager Sean Smith, a connoisseur home brewer, said the beer selection will change with the seasons. "None of these are going to be locked in stone," he said. "We'll change with the seasons. In the fall, people tend to drink (heavier beers), and in the summer you'll drink the lighter lagers and pilsners."

Asked if he'll be a regular at Shade, Smith made a boyish grin. "There's a lot of quality control that goes into running a restaurant."

Beer will be offered in 16 and 21 ounce glasses (not pitchers), though prices have not been set.

Among the 11 entrees on Shade's menu - priced between $11 and $23 - are comfort foods shepherd's pie and mac and cheese, seafood options including lobster and salmon, and American fare like bistro filet tips and New York sirloin.

An array of burgers and sandwiches are also on the menu, priced between $10 for a burger and $16 for a lobster roll. Salads are an option as well, either from the salad bar or a variety of standard salads.

Jarvis said though the restaurant plans to source locally as much as it can, there is no specific commitment to purchasing from local producers.

The Nashua Radisson is owned by United Capital Corp., which took over in December, 2011, at a price of $5.5 million.

The restaurant is the second of its kind, modeled from the original Shade at a DoubleTree Hotel in Windsor Locks, Conn., owned by the same company. Two more Shades are scheduled to open in the near future.

The decision to open the second Shade was made in late October, with a target opening date of Feb. 3. The establishment opens up 40 positions at the hotel, in addition to construction jobs through Boston-based contractor C.E. Floyd and the six New Hampshire subcontractors hired for the work.

Jarvis said the restaurant is intent on flexibility and responding to customer suggestions. "It's totally bent on, you want a latte? Have a latte. You want a potato chip? Have a potato chip. You want a steak? Have that too."

The hotel is surrounded by several large companies with hundreds of workers, in addition to a line of housing complexes along Spit Brook Road, with very little competition in the area.

Guests in the hotel's 336 rooms are expected to supply a large portion of Shade's clientele.

Happy hour will run Monday through Friday from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., featuring themed food options available free to customers.

A member of the kitchen staff will serve up tacos during a Mexican night, spaghetti during an Italian night, or roast beef sandwiches on a roast beef sandwich night.

Business Food Nashua

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