Galley Hatch Restaurant & Fantastic Crew

By Michelle Tsaltsas

Seacoast Scene, Wednesday, September 8, 2010

[The following article is courtesy of Seacoast Scene.]

This is a continuing series that this paper will be doing highlighting some of the "extraordinary" people that work in the food and beverage business on the Seacoast. We will be featuring waitresses, waiters, bartenders, cooks, etc. This week is Donna Reynolds
"I'm not part of the Tinios family,
but I feel like I am."

The Galley Hatch in Hampton, New Hampshire is home to an eclectic bunch of individuals. One in particular is Donna Reynolds. Donna has been bartending at the Hatch since 1996. "I've always worked at family owned restaurants," she says. With a preference to cozy, family oriented restaurants, the Galley Hatch was a good choice. The Hatch has been a staple in the seacoast community since 1970 when they first opened. The cozy, warm atmosphere from the restaurant and staff makes any customer feel at home. "I'm not part of the Tinios family, but I feel like I am," says Donna.

Donna, as her customers at the bar all agreed, is an outstanding bartender. She makes it a point to know everyone at the bar, not just the regulars. New customers feel like regulars when they come to drink at the Galley Hatch. One her most popular drinks is her specialty Bloody Mary, along with martinis, pina coladas and cocktails. Donna's friendly and outgoing personality makes everyone at the bar feel at ease, which is important to the customers coming in to unwind after a long day.

It's Donna's belief that the staff that you don't see at a restaurant are just as important and deserve just as much recognition as the ones you do see. Some of these important people are the chefs two of which are Eric and Peter, two friendly guys that work out back and provide food to the customers.

A few waitresses who nave been at the Hatch for about the same amount of years as Donna are Pam, Donna Camilliere, Robin Frost and Ellie. "The staff here are like a family, we get along really well and we have occasional fights like a family," says Donna Reynolds. Ellie has been working at the Hatch for 37 years, which is the longest out of all the waitstaff.

Pam, who has been waitressing at the restaurant for 15 years says, "It's like an extended family. It's like working with friends." Pam has chosen to work here for so long because she likes the staff that work there. "Our personalities blend." She also says, "I like the customers that come in here." The restaurant is open year round, unlike many of the places by the beach that choose to stay open only during the summer season. It's because of this that the Hatch gets beach regulars [who] during the summer season are from out of state and during the winter season are local seacoasters. Donna Camilliere's favorite part of working at the Galley Hatch is "working with Pam." Apart from that she thinks, "the food's wonderful and the colleagues are great!"

The Hatch is celebrating their 40th anniversary this year with ongoing specials. Also, the Hatch has started a "Loyalty Card." where for each meal you buy you collect points and receive a voucher after a certain amount. New customers are becoming regulars with the Loyalty card.

Not only is the staff accommodating, so is the actual restaurant. Upon walking in, you'll find different dining rooms to suite the customers needs. In one room, the comfortable and dimly lit dining space will make any family at home. One of the four rooms at the Hatch offers a fireplace and more secluded area with windows and dividers between the Tap room and bakery. "Our most festive holiday is Christmas," says Donna, "A lot of people fill this room up during Christmas. Probably because of the fireplace." This smaller dining room offers seclusion and a warm fireplace, which is fun and convenient during the winter months.

If you prefer a more social place to eat, try the Tap Room. Most of the regulars choose this area because of it's upbeat energy and popularity. If you can't decide between the Hatch's wide selection of specialty drinks and locally brewed beers, one of the bartenders will be more than happy to help. Whether it's to sit down and eat or to sit at the bar and enjoy the entertaining and friendly bar staff, the Tap Room is most definitely the way to go if you're looking for fun.

For groups and large parties, the upstairs area, or "The Pelican Room" as the Hatch calls it, is a good place to eat. Cheaper than most function rooms, the Pelican Room is brightly lit and offers music and entertainment to large groups. Parties looking to reserve space in the Pelican Room should consist of at least 20 people.

If you're looking for something small and sweet, or for something to go, try the bakery, located at the side of the restaurant facing CVS. Sharaine Lavigne is one of the most comical of the Hatch staff and works full time at the bakery. "I love the people I work with," says Sharaine. "And how can you say no to selling delicious pastry?" Sharaine has worked at the Hatch for over a year.

One of the regulars who usually sits by the bar, Kevin, has been going to the Galley Hatch his entire life. I'm a local resident from Hampton, so I've pretty much grown up going to the Galley Hatch my whole life." Local residents like Kevin like coming to the Galley Hatch because the staff is fun and the food is affordable and fantastic. Kevin says, "The food's great, the clientele always friendly and the staff is second to none."

This traditional Greek restaurant brings something new and exciting to the seacoast. With many generic Italian and American style foods on Route 1, many Hampton locals are excited to eat at the Hatch's upscale and affordable restaurant. Whether you're coming for dessert, a quiet dinner, a function or just some laughs and drinks with a few friends, the Galley Hatch is the place to be. The regulars will treat you like a regular, the food is affordable and fantastic tasting and the staff are sure to put a smile on your face.

"The staff here are like a family, we get along really well and we have occasional fights like a family," says Donna Reynolds, top left with waitresses Robin, Autumn, Kristin, Ellie and Ashley.

Sharaine, Donna, Valerie and Harry.

Donna with a regular customer Kevin and Lisa.

Laura and Karen