Fody's Tavern

The second location for Fody’s Tavern at 187 Rockingham Road in Derry was previously the home of the Hilltop Restaurant.

DERRY — Fody’s Tavern’s second location is set to open today, about six months later than restaurant owners Paul and Maria Foden had initially hoped.

“It’s just an old building and we really wanted to get it right,” Paul Foden said.

He said renovations at 187 Rockingham Road cost between $400,000 and $500,000. All told, Foden said he has spent about $1 million to set up the restaurant, including the price of the building. He bought the property for $596,000 last March.

Foden said last summer that he expected to open in September and that renovations were likely to cost $150,000.

“So, a lot more than I thought,” Foden said.

Part of the renovation was a redesign of the interior to improve the flow of customers and efficiency of production, as well as some changes to the kitchen.

Fody’s Tavern in Nashua has been open since 2004. This is Foden’s first attempt at establishing a second location.

The new restaurant will be larger, about 4,500 square feet, Foden estimates, with two floors and a deck.

He said it will fit about 200 patrons. The first floor will be a more traditional restaurant space.

“We tried to keep the feel of the age of the building with everything we did,” Foden said of the first floor.

On the second floor, it’s more of a tavern feel, with televisions, comfortable furnishings and live music. The bars will serve local beers and cocktails with fresh squeezed juice and handmade syrups, Foden said.

Eventually, they would like to use some of the outdoor space for festivals.

“We have plenty of space outside and would love to capitalize on that,” Foden said.

He said they are still brainstorming ideas and hope to partner with the neighboring driving range to have the most space for a festival.

Foden said they have fully staffed the front end and hired a manager, but are still looking for about four more full-time and part-time kitchen staffers.

With the larger kitchen, Foden will be able to offer an expanded menu to include individual thin-crust pizzas, and more composed entrees like a scallop dish and a 14-ounce rib eye steak.

They will be making pickles, sauerkraut and kimchi in-house.

A grand opening ceremony is scheduled for March 29 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Foden said there will be a ribbon cutting and Frank FM radio personalities will be on hand.

His cousin, Will Foden, will be the head chef at the Derry restaurant. Will Foden said he grew up in Derry and Paul Foden grew up in Windham, so they are excited to be closer to friends and family.