T-Bones owner plans new upscale eatery

Bedford-based Great NH Restaurants Inc. is planning to to open a new, more upscale concept restaurant in 2011. The Copper Door, to be located in the Bedford Hills development of Bedford on Route 101, will be a bit of a departure from the company’s other casual dining offerings, T-Bones and Cactus Jack’s. Tom Boucher, founder of the firm, told NHBR he and his team have been working on the concept for over a year, looking to create an atmosphere that is “elegant, classy and tasteful but not stuffy.” “There are thousands of restaurant groups across the country that have multiple concepts. This is not an unusual business model for a growing group like ours,” he added. Calling the concept “elevated but still casual,” The Copper Door will feature a “combination of quality furnishings, tasteful ambiance with whimsical undertones, along with a chef-inspired, made-from-scratch menu,” he said. Boucher said he hasn’t picked a chef yet, but Great NH Restaurants’ chief operating officer Dan Fraser and Executive Chef Nicole Barreira also will have a hand in menu development. The Bedford Hills site is being developed by Hawthorne-Bedford LLC, with TF Moran, Lavallee-Brensinger Architects and Manchester developer Dick Anagnost associated with projects on the site, according to Bedford Planning Board minutes. The development includes a medical office building and a bank as well as other commercial and green space in addition to the restaurant. Boucher said the economy has played a factor in the opening of a new concept. “The economy has definitely turned the corner, at least in New Hampshire,” he said. “We’ve seen an uptick at T-Bones, and I’ve heard the same thing from other restaurant owners.” In fact, Boucher said his holiday gift certificate sales at his restaurants are up double-digits from last year. The basic concept “The Copper Door – Fine Food, Delicious Drink, Classic Character” was created by Boucher’s wife Dana after visiting restaurants across the country. Meant to be an evocative one, it reflects the growing segment of diners searching for a fine-dining experience without the pretention. “I’ve been on the board of the National Restaurant Association for six years, and I’ve eaten at a lot of great fine-dining restaurants, but this segment is something people are really asking for,” said Boucher. This will be the eighth restaurant for Boucher. Ground breaking for The Copper Door is expected to begin in the spring with a winter 2011 opening anticipated. — CINDY KIBBE/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW

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