A sampling of downtown delights

NASHUA – There’s only one event that lets you stroll down Main Street on a warm spring evening while sampling food from 23 downtown restaurants and bakeries.

The Great American Downtown organization is sponsoring that event – the 10th annual Taste of Downtown Nashua from 6:30-9:30 tonight.

“It just creates that old-time feeling of Main Street when Main Street was the only place to be,” said event Chairman Philip Scontsas, owner of Scontsas Jewelers & Home Decor. “You want to live in a city that does things like this.”

The restaurants and bakeries will leave their kitchens behind and serve samples of their best fare in 20 different retail and commercial spaces downtown.

Local jazz musicians will play at each of the sites, which will also have outdoor cafe tables set up.

Bippity Boppity Baby, which is hosting The Parthenon, plans to have a belly dancer provide entertainment, Scontsas said.


Tickets are $25 and proceeds benefit Great American Downtown, which funds various downtown projects. In the past, the money has been used for the tree-lighting, flower containers and other downtown beautification projects. A single ticket is all you need to visit each of the venue sites.

“That’s 24 little mini meals, so don’t each lunch, that’s our advice,” Scontsas said.

Even businesses not hosting a restaurant will provide water so participants can cleanse their palates as they browse the stores, Scontsas said.

Several restaurants and bakeries are participating for the first time this year, including The Daily Count, The Parthenon, Giant of Siam, Peppino’s Italian Deli, and Cooking Matters.

Ruth Axtell, owner of Tout Le Monde Interiors, is participating this year for the first time. She will host Factory 57, which will serve samplings from its menu in her store.

“We’re trying to increase awareness of why the downtown is a destination, not just a place for errands,” Axtell said. She said she wanted to get involved not only to boost business, but also because it’s important for the downtown shops to support one another.

“It’s easy to sit and complain there’s not enough business, but you’ve got to make the effort to make the change. If one business succeeds, the hope is that we all succeed,” Axtell said.

Tickets may be purchased at Absolutely New Hampshire,

ArcLight, Beckonings, Bilancia Gallery and Framing, Bippity Boppity Baby, Blackbird Books and Cafe, Blackthorne Antiques, Cooking Matters, DesignWares, Fortin-Gage Ltd., Myoptic, Pompanoosuc Mills, Scontsas Fine Jewelry and Home Decor, and Tout Le Monde Interiors.

Karen Spiller can be reached at 594-6446 or spillerk@telegraph-nh.com.