Greg's Place closing, Terrasini Grille opening
MANCHESTER — Geneva Morse will need to find a new place for good coffee and free advice because Greg’s Place across from Verizon Wireless Arena will be closing after 30 years of serving up its two-eggs, any-style breakfast special.
Restaurant owner JeanMarie Sallah said she is calling it quits in about a month after working there the past 22 years.
“Basically, I’ve run my course. I’m ready for a break,” Sallah, 52 said Wednesday. “After 22 years, it’s hard on your body. It’s hard on your mind.”Morse said she’s been coming for breakfast a few times a week over the past 11 years and stops in most days for coffee. She will miss Sallah.
“What I like about this place is she always gives very good customer service,” she said. “If I needed to vent, she’s always there to give me advice and help me out.”
But another branch of the family tree plans to open a new eatery, Terrasini Grille, in the same space.
“It’s an American casual restaurant with an Italian influence,” said Domenic Ciolino, who soon plans to be co-owner. “I don’t want full Italian because there’s already enough Italian restaurants.”
Pasta and pork chops will share the menu.Ciolino is a cousin of the “Greg” in Greg’s place. Greg Sallah started the business in 1984. He and his wife, JeanMarie, co-owned the restaurant from 1992 until 2008, when she took over sole ownership.
Their son, Brandon Sallah, the restaurant’s kitchen manager, will stay on to work in Ciolino’s restaurant.
“I started washing dishes when I was 6 for french fries,” the 26-year-old said.
Ciolino, who lives in Manchester, plans to bring a little Sicilian cooking he learned from his late grandmother in Gloucester, Mass.
He plans to serve breakfast, lunch and dinner and a Sunday brunch. Dinner entrees will cost between $10 and $20. The space also will include a bakery.
But first, customers at Greg’s Place can take advantage of the “grand closing celebration” during August by choosing a free appetizer or dessert or 10 percent of their dinner.
The restaurant’s rented location at 641 Elm St. allowed it to take advantage of events at Verizon Wireless Arena. It sold $3 beer drafts and hand-cut fries.
“During hockey season, that’s the majority of our business,” Brandon Sallah said. “We sell something like 200 pounds of french fries, and that’s in a matter of hours.”
Ciolino said he wants to capture some of the arena crowd, offering a simpler menu on event nights but said he is trying to get away from “a mentality of people coming in just for the bar.”
He plans to add a wooden floor and booths to the restaurant.
The new place will open at 6 a.m. for breakfast with the dining room remaining open until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights and 9 p.m. on other days. Closing hours could vary depending on arena events.
During her 22-year restaurant reign, JeanMarie Sallah said the city has “changed for the better.” She said there are a lot more businesses downtown and joked there are five or six restaurants or bars on every corner.
When the restaurant opened, the two-eggs, any-style special with home fries and toast costs 99 cents. Today, it runs $2.99.
“Still the cheapest place in town to do breakfast,” Brandon Sallah said.