Where’s the beef? In downtown Manchester
A new restaurant concept for downtown Manchester is being launched by Chuck Rolecek, and it’s one he hopes diners will sink their teeth into. The Hanover Street Chophouse, at the intersection of Hanover and Pine streets, will be an upscale steak house that will feature prime aged steaks, chops and seafood. “We wanted to give Manchester another dining alternative,” said Rolecek, president of C.R. Sparks restaurant in Bedford. “Downtown said, ‘Please come.’ The mayor’s office and Public Works have been very supportive and cooperative.” But creating a restaurant for today’s diners in a 60-year-old building was not without its challenges. “At one point, we were looking at building an external elevator, but that became cost-prohibitive with the amount of underground work that would have been required,” said Rolecek. “We also had tenants until May, so there was only so much work we could do.” The restaurant will occupy the basement and first floor of the building, with three private dining rooms, a prep kitchen and rest rooms on the lower level, and the main dining room, an additional private dining room and bar on the first floor. The second and third floors of the building will be leased as office space. The look will be masculine with an emphasis on the finishes, said Rolecek. “Peter A. Niemitz of the Niemitz Design Group Inc. in Boston, will be doing the design. He will be focusing on the lighting, flooring, emphasizing the woods and granites,” said Rolecek Niemitz also has designed projects for Euro Disney, Capital Grille and Bugaboo Creek. The menu is intended to bring out anyone’s inner carnivore. Steaks, prime rib, filets and chops will be highlighted — or “big, bone-in, Kansas City-style steaks” as Rolecek described them. Other premium cuts will include lamb and veal chops and double-cut pork shops. “We’ll serve our steaks ‘clean’ — not a lot of sauces or spices,” he said. Seafood also will share the menu, with shellfish, lobster and other entrees such as house-smoked salmon. Those seeking lighter fare will find such selections as French onion soup, lobster bisque and wedge-cut steakhouse salads. And what goes better with a hearty steak than a hearty Cabernet or Bordeaux? “We’re spending a lot of time developing the wine list,” said Rolecek. “We’re looking at listing about 100 to 110 bottles, with a large by-the-glass selection.” Dan Callinan, catering director for C.R. Sparks, will oversee the cellar as well as the restaurant as general manager. Manning the high-searing grills as executive chef will be Steven Clutter, former executive chef-turned general manager of C.R. Sparks. “Clutter and Callinan will be an integral part of restaurant,” said Rolecek. “The two will make the going smooth.” The Hanover Street Chophouse is expected to open to the public on Nov. 1, he said.