Merrimack eatery being forced to close over landlord's move
The owners of Ida Mae’s Sandwich Shop on Daniel Webster Highway in Merrimack have been told to move out by the end of February. (KIMBERLY HOUGHTON/Union Leader Correspondent)
“We are crushed,” said Karen Slez, who owns the restaurant with her husband, Brian. “Our landlord decided not to renew our lease, and we are kind of in a bit of shock.”
“We have been told that she doesn’t want to lease it anymore, and ultimately probably wants to sell the property,” Slez said. “We were actually planning on buying the building after six years in operation — so in about three more years.”
“Maybe she just doesn’t want to be a landlord anymore. Still, I would hate to see the building torn down,” Slez said. “It was just starting to turn around for us.”Ida Mae’s, which is open daily for breakfast and lunch, is known for its homemade soups and sandwiches. In addition to handcut french fries and fried pickles, the deli also has a famous Texas roadhouse burger and sausage gravy and biscuit dish that keeps customers coming back.The Slezs first opened Ida Mae’s in Seabrook 11 years ago. In February 2011, they decided to open a second location in Merrimack, and began leasing the former Ruthie’s Restaurant.
“We are going to try to fight this. We gave our papers to an attorney to see if we have any recourse,” Slez said. “We are still going to try to keep our Merrimack location. We just need to find out if we have a leg to stand on.”
“We are going to keep our hearts open to finding something,” she said, noting there really aren’t any appropriate sites available in Merrimack where the restaurant could relocate.Brian and Karen Slez wrote a farewell letter to their customers, some of whom have been frequenting the establishment for 30 years since Ruthie’s opened in 1983.“It is hard to say goodbye,” said Karen Slez.
Robertson could not be reached for comment.
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