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April 21. 2014 11:08PM

Londonderry Red Arrow Diner to open

LONDONDERRY — A third Red Arrow Diner location, this one in Londonderry, will open by year's end, company officials confirmed Monday.

Red Arrow President Carol Sheehan said the yet-to-be built restaurant, located on the grounds of the RMZ Truck Stop, 137 Rockingham Road, would be operating before 2015 begins.

The project was initially announced last summer, when Red Arrow officials revealed plans to open the eatery this spring. The planning process has proven to be a bit slower than they initially anticipated.

Sheehan said construction crews would break ground on the new building in late June or early July, noting that it would take about three months to complete the building and another month or two to complete the interior.

She said the Londonderry location was attractive due to its close proximately to Exit 5 of Interstate 93, noting the 63-seat restaurant would be visible from the highway.

"The truck stop is always busy, so we expect to do very well there," Sheehan said.

On Monday, Red Arrow officials launched the company's new menu at its original diner, located at 61 Lowell St. in Manchester and the newer diner, located at 68 Union Square in Milford.

The new menus read, "Coming soon to Londonderry."

Customers at all three locations will be treated to the same fare, Sheehan noted, including breakfast served 24 hours a day, diner favorites like meatloaf and liver and onions, sandwiches, seafood, pasta and Blue Plate specials, as well as the restaurant's "Dinah Fingers" sponge cake treats.

The first Red Arrow Diner in Manchester opened in 1922, and at one point, there were five diners operating at various locations around Manchester, according to the company website.

A favorite haunt of politicians hot on the Granite State Presidential primary trail, the Red Arrow has earned multiple awards over the years and was recently named one of USA Today's top 10 diners in the nation.

Sheehan purchased the diner in 1987 and opened the Milford location in 2008, when she announced potential opportunities for future Red Arrow franchise locations.

While there's not telling what the future might bring, Sheehan said this week that three times might prove a charm for the decades-old diner chain.

"If it goes my way, this will be it," she said with a laugh. "But we're always open to future possibilities."

Final project plans for the Londonderry location have yet to go before the town's planning board, town officials said, though conditional approval for the overall revamping of the Exit 5 truck stop was granted by the board last year, according to Londonderry Town Manager Kevin Smith.

"We expect them to come in for their final sign-off in the very near future," Smith said on Monday. "The area around Exit 5 continues to be a bed of activity for new development, and this addition, I think, is a sign of good things to come for the region and for the town."

AGuilmet@newstote.com



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