Clam King site gets new restaurant on Manchester's West SideBy MICHAEL COUSINEAU
New Hampshire Union Leader
May 05. 2014 5:31PM
MANCHESTER — Seafood — whether baked, broiled, raw or fried — will return to the former Clam King site on the West Side this month.
And don’t forget the fried clams.
Co-owner Mike Moran of Auburn was on-site Friday, working on remodeling the Second Street building that was home to Clam King from 1981 until last year, when then-owner Tom Levasseur rebranded the restaurant as CK’s Grill before closing it last December.
Think more upscale this time.
A two-tier lobster tank and raw bar are a few features at the new eatery, named the Ipswich Clam Bake Restaurant and Tavern, which is aiming to open before Memorial Day.
“We’re bringing fresh seafood, baked and broiled, really healthy items, to the location,” said General Manager J.P. Quidore.
The tavern, dubbed Castaways Tavern, will sport 10 televisions for patrons to keep up with the latest games.
The restaurant, zoned for up to 150 patrons, will provide a take-out option and a sit-down menu that is about 75 percent seafood.
Wait staff will take orders on iPad minis, sending orders to the kitchen before leaving the table.
About 25 of the approximate 40 employees will work full time.
Lunch entrees will run from $8 to $15 with dinners ranging from $14 to $22. Gluten-free items also will appear on the menu.
Quidore, who lives in Nashua, said he thinks the restaurant’s signature item will be a table-side clambake for two for $28.
Last week, a dirt trench awaited new pipes inside. No one yet carted away the booths and chairs from the former restaurant, and the old restaurant sign stood guard over Second Street. A new outside paint job, Cape Cod gray, is slated for Saturday.
The restaurant will serve food daily from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. with the tavern staying open until midnight.
The Manchester restaurant also will use a former Connecticut fire truck, converted into a food truck, for catered events, Moran said.
Moran, who also has ownership in the Ipswich Clam Bake, a take-away food and catering business in Ipswich, Mass., said he wasn’t scouting restaurant locations in New Hampshire.
“It kind of found us,” he said.
Next door, a worker at Cleaner Vacuum Solutions welcomed the new restaurant.
“New seafood is good,” said the worker, who used only her first name, Nina.
“The flow of people,” she said, helps attracts more customers to her business.