Thirsty Moose Taphouse, Tucker's restaurant will complete reincarnation of Merrimack ghost mallBy MICHAEL COUSINEAU
New Hampshire Union Leader
August 09. 2018 3:04PM
MERRIMACK — Thirsty Moose Taphouse and Tucker’s restaurant will help fill out a redone Merrimack strip mall dubbed Merrimack 360.
The timetable for Tucker’s restaurant to open its sixth New Hampshire location in the Merrimack location — the former Shaw’s plaza at 360 Daniel Webster Highway — got pushed back a few months.
That’s because it’s taking longer than expected to get plans approved for a similar restaurant in Manchester, according to the restaurant chain’s co-owner, Hale Cole-Tucker.
“The goal was to do Manchester first, give them a couple months to get open, and then do Merrimack,” he said.
Cole-Tucker said he hopes the Manchester Planning Board at its Aug. 16 meeting approves Tucker’s moving forward at the former Lowe’s store on Huse Road.
He expects the Manchester restaurant to open in November and the Merrimack location in early to mid-winter. Each will offer 110 to 115 seats, more than the 95 in the Hooksett location.
He said he liked the mall’s mixed uses that includes Planet Fitness and the Altitude Trampoline Park.
Tucker’s serves breakfast and lunch so he doesn’t see a lot of overlap with Thirsty Moose. He also thinks the two eateries will help increase mall traffic for each other.
Developer Robert Barsamian, president of OVP Management Inc., said he didn’t think the two planned restaurants would compete for the same customers.
“I think they’re completely different animals,” he said.
“I think all of our tenants are magnets” to attract customers, Barsamian said.
Cole-Tucker said since the Hooksett restaurant pulls customers from Manchester, Bedford and surrounding towns, he hopes the Manchester restaurant will take some pressure off the busy Hooksett location.
He said he targeted the Nashua area for a new restaurant and feels the Merrimack location is “close enough to tap us into the Nashua-Amherst market.”
Thirsty Moose co-owner Brian Ward couldn’t be reached. Thirsty Moose has locations in Manchester, Dover, Exeter and Portsmouth.