HANOVER — Hanover has by no means been a city often known as a vacation spot for nightlife, however an formidable challenge now underway within the basement of the previous Dartmouth Bookstore on South Foremost Road might change that.
Hanover developer Jay Campion is constructing a virtually 7,000-square-foot restaurant and nightclub that can embody a venue for music and different artist performances within the basement of the shuttered bookstore.
To be entered from Allen Road, the brand new institution, named Sawtooth Kitchen, is focused to open early subsequent yr, in keeping with Campion and his son, Kieran Campion, who’s basic supervisor of the enterprise.
“A restaurant with an occasion area for dwell efficiency of music is one thing I’ve wished to do for a very long time,” mentioned Campion, whose household has been distinguished in Hanover’s companies and actual property group for generations.
“With the demographic of the faculty college students on the town and folks within the Higher Valley who admire music and artwork and the bookstore closing, there was lastly sufficient area to do it,” he mentioned,
Hidden from public view, the cavernous basement stage, which extends from the entrance of the early 1900s circa constructing again to the previous The whole lot however Anchovies restaurant on Allen Road, previously was utilized as storage and retail area for the bookstore.
The restaurant, kitchen and efficiency area is the most recent step within the transformation of the Wimblewood Constructing, which the Campion household has owned because the Fifties and at one time was the house of the Hanover Co-op and likewise Campion’s Sporting Items, each lengthy gone from South Foremost Road.
Because the bookstore closed in 2018, Campion has renovated the bottom retail areas which now home My Brigadeiro cafe, bakery and chocolate store and Nonetheless North e-book retailer and cafe. The higher flooring are occupied by administrative places of work for Dartmouth’s Tuck College of Enterprise.
A key aspect in Sawtooth Kitchen — the title comes the constructing’s serrated-shape basis partitions in what would be the kitchen space — is the restaurant and meals operation wherein contemporary and frozen ready meals can even be out there for pick-up and supply at a separate designated entrance within the alley.
Campion additionally foresees the industrial kitchen producing Sawtooth Kitchen ready frozen meals that will be distributed wholesale and bought domestically at locations just like the Hanover Co-op and different markets.
“Take-out is right here to remain,” Campion mentioned about how eating places initially out of necessity pivoted for survival in the course of the pandemic however then found a rising marketplace for pick-up and home-delivered meals. “If you are able to do it in a singular approach and with high quality, it’s going to set a brand new development.”
However maybe most formidable — and doubtlessly dangerous — might be Sawtooth Kitchen’s low-rise stage and 163-seat desk seating space that Campion variously described as a “nightclub,” “cabaret” and “efficiency area” that’s designed to current musicians, stand-up comics, theater artists and writers earlier than the general public.
A efficiency area for dwell music has been absent from Hanover since each Salt hill Pub and Skinny Pancake, which each booked regional musicians, closed early within the pandemic.
Kieran Campion, 44, a 1995 graduate of Hanover Excessive College, Colgate College and the British American Drama Academy who has moved again to the Higher Valley with this younger household, after a career as a stage and TV actor and Chicago-based theatrical agent, mentioned he expects to faucet contacts within the leisure trade to program the venue.
The youthful Campion envisions the dwell venue at Sawtooth Kitchen might be greater than a spot to listen to coffee-house balladeers however will supply a large spectrum of efficiency artists.
“We’re going to run the gamut when it comes to performing arts,” mentioned Campion, who most not too long ago labored as a theatrical agent in Chicago. “My aspirational plan is to construct a house for artists within the Higher Valley, creating our personal in-house work, like an ensemble firm, whether or not sketch comedy or storytelling, creating artistic expertise.”
“Throughout 20 years in New York and Chicago I’ve made a whole lot of connections within the enterprise and might name upon them to carry individuals up from town, or double up with artists at Dartmouth, or a visiting artist doing a grasp class, performing a play, studying of recent work, a cabaret act on Saturday night time,” he mentioned.
As for the music, Kieran mentioned the area affords a wealthy collection of performers to e-book.
“This isn’t going to be a spot for one more Irish jug band,” he mentioned.
The City of Hanover as soon as took a dim view of eating places additionally internet hosting dwell performances, most notably when the previous Canoe Membership was blocked by the zoning administrator within the early 2000s from providing dwell musical leisure as a result of it was not a permitted accent use.
However the Zoning Board later reversed the choice, saying the administrator’s interpretation of what’s permitted underneath an adjunct use was too slender — “dwell musical performances are a permitted accent use for a property whose main use is a restaurant, at the very least when carried out at considerably the extent and scope proposed by the applicant on this case,” the 2003 resolution learn.
Hanover Planning and Zoning Director Robert Houseman mentioned his division has been in touch with the Campions in the course of the allowing course of in an effort to make sure that it comports with zoning ordinances.
“We now have spent many hours with Jay to verify we perceive the scope of this challenge and we consider the principal use of the restaurant and the proposed music venue is subordinate and accent to the principal use and subsequently permissible,” Houseman mentioned final week.
The Campions mentioned they’re in talks with potential cooks to run the kitchen, though they mentioned it was too early but to speak concerning the menu.
Jay Campion mentioned the kitchen, nevertheless, may find yourself supplying the meals for Nonetheless North Books, which he additionally predicts will make the most of the venue area for creator signings and e-book occasions.
“Actually, I feel that is going to be a really cool place,” Jay Campion mentioned.
Contact John Lippman at firstname.lastname@example.org.