Three-hundred-year-old wood was recently installed on the outside of the soon-to-be-open downtown Hampton restaurant.
By Kyle Stucker
Hampton-NorthHamptonPatch.com, January 4, 2013
[The following article is courtesy of Hampton-NorthHamptonPatch.com.]
Hampton Flatbread recently received a new character-rich, wooden facade thanks to the installation of reclaimed 300-year-old mushroom board on the exterior of the building. [Credit Kyle Stucker]
The exterior and interior facelift of the old Me and Ollie's building is nearly complete, which means the Flatbread Pizza Company will soon open its doors for the first time after enduring several delays during the construction process.
Co-owner John Meehan said the 35 or so employees of the new Hampton Flatbread location will begin training at the Portsmouth location on Monday, which Meehan said is a sign the construction has progressed to the point that he's "confident" the High Street restaurant can open later this month.
Flatbread could've opened late last year as anticipated, although Meehan said the company was focused on getting everything right rather than rushing the opening because they have one main goal for the restaurant.
"We’re going to be open such a long time that no one will remember how long we took to open — that’s my feeling," said Meehan.
The most recent delay to hit the reconstruction process, which was originally targeted for a September completion, was the restaurant's concrete floor. Meehan said several different cuts and pours had been made over the years, which created quality problems "halfway" through the process of refinishing the surface.
There were "so many undulations and so many holes," according to Meehan, that they had to seal the surface with an epoxy instead of going with a buffed concrete floor finish, which is the chain's flooring style of choice.
Meehan said there's "always a potential hiccup," although the building should be turned over to Flatbread during the week of Jan. 15, and inspections are expected to be completed by the end of the following week.
That means the Hampton Flatbread, which recently received a new character-rich, wooden facade thanks to the installation of reclaimed 300-year-old mushroom board on the exterior of the building, could open at some point during "the week after Jan. 15," according to Meehan.
"We're looking forward to opening," said Meehan, who also said the hiring process has been completed for the new restaurant. "There’s a lot of enthusiasm. [Locals and employees] are all excited about us opening, and I couldn’t be more excited."