Portsmouth Book and Bar to Open in Two Weeks
John Strymish, one of owners, says they are shooting for Nov. 22.
It’s been about four months since John Strymish and his two other business partners began renovating the former Customs House building on Pleasant Street for the new Portsmouth Book and Bar cafe.
On Thursday afternoon, Strymish said they will open for business in two weeks on Nov. 22, just before Thanksgiving Day weekend. Strymish said they have completed all of the most challenging interior design, electrical and plumbing related work. Now they have to secure their New Hampshire liquor license and obtain their city inspection permits over the next two weeks.
He said the rest of the interior work to set up the new book store and cafe is pretty basic. In the rear portion of the new business are several bookcases filled with books flanked by one long book case that stretches along the entire wall.
A great deal of work has been done on the bar area and all of the historic crown mouldings and columns have been restored and painted.
When all of the work is completed inside the 2,800 square foot space, Strymish believes their patrons are going to love it. The timing of their opening at the beginning of the holiday season should also work in their favor, he believes.
In September, David Lovelace, one of the owners, said patrons will be able to order a glass of wine, a pint of beer, coffee and menu items such as small plates of cheese and fruit, salads, sandwiches and soups prepared by Chef Amy Mehaffey.
Strymish said then they also plan to hire 8 to 10 part- and full-time employees to operate the new book store/restaurant.
Lovelace said then patrons will be able to browse books as they do in other book stores, but they can also sit and visit with their friends in what the owners hope will be a unique atmosphere that preserves much of the ornate historic crown mouldings that were part of the original building constructed in 1850.