Historic Rye restaurant gets new ownershipBy KIMBERLEY HAAS
Union Leader Correspondent
February 19. 2018 9:03PM
RYE — The Carriage House in Rye is under new ownership and is closed for renovations.
Former owner Paul Mackey made the official public announcement Friday, saying R.J. Joyce and James Woodhouse from Louie’s in downtown Portsmouth will be taking over the historic restaurant.
Louie’s was damaged during the State Street Saloon fire in April of last year and never reopened.
“I have no doubt they will continue on in the traditions and bring their own talents and flair. I have dined with them many times and think they are two of the best in the area,” Mackey posted to Facebook. “I’m proud to be leaving it in great hands.”
According to The Carriage House website, the restaurant at 2263 Ocean Boulevard was built in 1931 and owned by a native of Sweden. Swenson’s Grill was designed to resemble a house so it would blend in with other buildings and preserve the integrity of the neighborhood.
The property changed hands and names twice before Mackey purchased it in 1983.
“For the past 35 years, I have been lucky enough to be part of this community. I have seen countless moments of both tragedy and triumph. The beauty of this town is its people. Communities like this don’t just happen, they are built,” Mackey said in the announcement.
Joyce and Woodhouse could not be reached for comment Monday. Their media relations specialist, Nicole Kanner, could not be reached over the holiday weekend.
Details of the sale are not yet known. According to Rye public records, the assessed value of the restaurant and .18 acre of land was $811,100 in 2017 and $747,900 in 2015 and 2016.
The renovations are expected to take six to eight weeks, according to Mackey.
Mackey said he will keep The Kingfish Grill in St. Augustine, Fla., and will continue to perform locally with his classic rock group, The TonyMack Band.