An exciting new adventure!
David and Pattie Ryan-Perkins have purchased one of the local landmark hangouts in Exeter, NH! We are the new proud owners of The Trackside Cafe tucked in the back of Gerry's Variety Store on 66 Lincoln Street!
We were looking for a small unique retail adventure, but this was a little "off the tracks!" I couldn't be more excited to serve the people that have been waiting so patiently! Go in there at any given time and you will find people sitting quietly at the counter, drinking their coffee, reading their paper, and the place has been closed for weeks! We've been working around them, and they don't seem to mind. They are definitely anxious to see what direction we are going to take, and I am reassuring them that they are pretty much driving this train! I am following their leads, no matter how small or silly they may seem. I really want people to feel comfortable; after all, it has served these people for years.
I remember eating at the Trackside in the early 80's, when I lived on Rockingham St., and on and off since then.
Now, owning this little gem, it's amazing to hear the real nuts and bolts of the little diner that I just called "Gerry's". It sounds like there have been many struggles over the years, but the patrons kept it going, regardless...and the workers, some of which are patrons, pulled it through the tuff times, and kept it moving forward... It wasn't the drive for money, or flattery, but just for the need to keep it going.
For people who start their days there, no matter what, open/closed/hot/cold....these people just have it in their blood to keep this little train on the tracks! It has resisted change, fought it all the way, and now it's a delicate task to bring in the new without disrupting the old. The most recent owner, Ed, came in and took care of the very necessary things that had to be done. He put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into it, and needless to say, a bit of cash as well. But unfortunately, he had to put all his energy into getting it open that he couldn't really take the time to EASE into the flow of its nature, its cast of people, and its unique charm that have kept this place alive. Ed also has a very successful restaurant in Hampstead, but there wasn't enough "Ed" to go around. He gave it his best shot, but I am thinking, the change was just too much, and the poor guy was doomed before he even got it going.
Five months later, it closed without a reason and without warning. People were sad, angry, and confused.
My husband and I had been thinking just weeks before, what a cool little place to own, and if we ever had the opportunity, we would love to take a shot at it!
Well, here we are, the rest is up to you all!
Ed took the big risks, changed the whole deal, cleaned her up nice! Maybe it was a little too clean! Shell shock, I would say!
So I took down the dried flowers and the "country " decor, and swapped it out for my art work that has been in the back of my car since my last show, and some of my stuff....I collect...ok, so I have lots of stuff! I want to start researching antique trains and really go in the 1940's theme, an era that I believe a part of me belongs in. I am a vintage girl, and not ashamed to say it!
I hope the patrons will be patient with the crew, Brian the cook, who came in with Ed, has been so good helping us put her back on track, Pat, the coffee gal, and of course, we have Ski, the jelly man.
....We have also been lucky enough to get Barb back for at least one day a week. She has been most instrumental, as with the others, at keeping this train alive!
My daughters and son are going to be there regularly, and I hope you will be patient while they are being trained, just the way you all like it!
Tomorrow, Sunday the 19 of October, is the soft Opening. MONDAY is the official opening, but like I said, I'll go in today to finish the details, and people will be sitting at the counter....patiently waiting! Keep coming back, I will do my best to keep my thoughts out there so I can get some constructive feedback!
Thanks for reading and see ya at the Trackside!