Pond Side Motel and Haven Restaurant – Epping, New Hampshire

This post is intended for tomorrow, May 21, 2011, if we live to see it. I have seen billboards and signs in nearly all of the interstates we have travelled this month exclaiming the end of the world on May 20, 2011. If the world does, indeed, end today then I can say that we have met with wonderful people.

We are in Epping, New Hampshire tonight at the Pond Side Motel. The only hotel/motel we could find between Manchester, 24 miles away, and I-95 near Raymond, New Hampshire where our trucks are at the Wal-Mart Distribution Center. This little motel is at Exit 7 on State Highway 101, at the exit turn left on State Highway 125 and go a little over a mile. You will see the Haven Restaurant on the left with the little motel set back off the street.


The Haven Restaurant has been owned and operated by the same family for 25 years, the third generation is running things now and doing a fantastic job.


This little place is the local hang out for good fast food and scrumptious ice cream treats.

We got to talk with the owner, Donna, and her husband while we dined. Learn some history of the place and her families business.

It all started with Donna’s grandfather who began with a place in Lawrence, Massachusetts serving quality food and ice cream treats. The man working with him is/was the father of Robert Goulet – a famous crooner from the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s.



Mr. Michaud later moved to Derry, New Hampshire and opened shop as Clam Haven from 1974 to 1987 with full support of the local people and vacationing tourists.


The food prices back then, probably a bit pricey then, make me wish things could go back to that time.


Donna and her sister grew up in the restaurant kitchen as their Mom and Dad cooked fresh seafood and served ice cream to the hungry diners. The girls were put to work doing dishes and other jobs they were tall enough and old enough to handle. As they got older the girls were pressed into taking greater roles in the business.

Spring brought the locals out of their hibernation to shed the long winters cabin fever. Summer and fall brought tourists from all over heading for the eastern shores to bathe in the sun and ocean surf. Fall heralds the onslaught of tourists driving the highways to see the magnificent color displays of leaves changing before dropping off and winter snows to begin.

Winter time brings some skiers but not many and is the time for the family business to close for the winter for a much needed rest.

Today Donna and her husband run the kitchen providing good food for hungry travelers like Joe and I.


This is the face Joe makes when he is enjoying fresh and scrumptious scallops, clams, and haddock. Wish you could hear the sounds he makes with every bite 🙂


Lest you think this little jewel is all about food there is an added bonus for the local kids and families.

In the spring Donna gets baby ducks from a local farm and runs contests for the children to give the babies names. The ducks live with Donna in a little pond area between the restaurant and motel. Come winter the ducks are returned to the farm where they came from to live long and happy lives.


If you find yourself near Manchester, New Hampshire head on up to Epping and stop in at the Haven Restaurant for some really great seafood. I don’t care for fish of any kind so I had the chicken strips that are wonderful. There are burgers as well. Don’t forget about the ice cream. All kinds of flavors and concoctions to delight anyone.

Need a place to stay for the night? Small, clean, and cozy rooms are just feet away for the weary traveler at the Pond Side Motel.


About Message In A Fold

I am an over the road truck driver in Drive-Away Transport part of the year, and the sole bookkeeper of this operation the other part of the year. I do a lot of whining until I can get in my craft room and play with paper and glue. View all posts by Message In A Fold

4 responses to “Pond Side Motel and Haven Restaurant – Epping, New Hampshire

  • Lynn Claridge

    Every time you mentioned Epping I wanted to add Forest to the name :)There is a link to more information here http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/Corporation/LGNL_Services/Environment_and_planning/Parks_and_open_spaces/Epping_Forest/

    I love to read about family businesses and it is marvellous that the establishment you and Joe visited has been in the same family for so long and is well supported by the local community.

    There is always some nutter somewhere declaring that the end of the world is nigh and when it does happen that same nutcase will be there waiting saying ‘I told you so’ 🙂

    Oh our neighbour sold out! Her farm was up for sale and the chappie who had plenty of cash wanted to buy the farm and our cottage as he didn’t like the farmhouse sadly he let on to the owner that he was interested in buying our cottage and, although he was the highest bidder for the farm and her solicitor actually accepted his offer,she turned it down and accepted a £50,000 lesser offer. She couldn’t bear the thought that our place might be more acceptable!! As you can imagine we were very angry and frustrated. The chappie didn’t want our place without the farm.
    Please let all movie stars and celebs know our place is on the market and can very easily be made secure 🙂

    Love and hugs
    Lynn xx

    • Message In A Fold

      Crapazoid, what a mean spirited thing for that woman to do. Fingers crossed…maybe that chappie will change his mind and come to make an offer on your home. One can only hope anyway 🙂

      Truly, I am blessed with Joe and my job. We meet so many people and learn a lot of interesting things. Sitting behind a desk, as I did before Joe, was not as rewarding.

      Guess I really ought to just shut up 🙂

      Hope you all are having a great weekend.
      Love you – Leslie

  • Randy from Raymond

    Tonight we had shrimp and clams from The Haven in Epping. I must say they are a huge dissapointment tonight! It is clear to me on calling that a bunch of children have been left in charge of the place (my wife picked up take out, all she saw were kids running the place), and they don’t care!!! We have ate there before and have talked to the owners (Donna), and told her how much we loved their clams and how we HATE clams cooked to potato chip consistency. She told us they used a timer like their father did. Well, guess what, they are terrible now like most local clam place because they no longer pay attention to how they cook their clams, they cook them till they are crunchy and break into small pieces! And the fries are overcooked and oily too! what happened to the timer? Shrimp were a little better, must have been cooked seperately. To bad, they were outstanding one year ago…I wish I could post the picture I took.

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