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.