Hampton, NH, Restaurants Hit Hard by Building Fire
The two restaurants damaged by Friday's fire on Ocean Boulevard in Hampton Beach have served their last meals of the summer
The three-alarm smokey fire that started in the ceiling of the North Beach Bar & Grill after midnight spread to the Secret Spot restaurant, according to Hampton Fire Chief Michael McMahon. The Cinnamon Rainbows surf shop sustained heavy smoke damage.
The two restaurants announced on their respective Instagram accounts that they will not be reopening this season.
"We are devastated and will sadly not be reopening. Thank you to ALL customers, employees, friends & family for amazing years of fun, (sometimes stressful) memories. Thank you to the Hampton fire Department for working hard and keeping everyone safe. We will miss seeing your faces," The North Beach Bar and Grill wrote Saturday morning.
The Secret Spot Friday posted that they were "completely devastated" by the fire and are closed for the rest of the year.
Photos of the damage posted by photographer Erica Nardone show water and smoke damage to the North Beach Grill in the kitchen and dining areas.
Offers of Help
Several avenues of job and financial assistance have been made to workers of both restaurants to help with employment and finances.
The Galley Hatch in Hampton on the Seacoast Eats Facebook page posted they will take on workers from both restaurants to fill their openings for bar backs, hosts, expos, cafe help, and kitchen positions.
"We are so sorry for the events that occurred last night and we’re sending love and hopes that you can get back to it soon," the restaurant wrote.
They are also promoting a GoFundMe page collecting donations, which will be given to the owners of both eateries to distribute to their workers.
More Evidence the Restaurant Business is Tough
Mike Somers, President and CEO of the New Hampshire Lodging & Restaurant Association, was disappointed at the news about the restaurant's future plans.
"It's disheartening to hear a business isn't going to reopen after an unfortunate event like this. It's a very tough time to be in the restaurant business with inflationary pressures, supply chain challenges, work force challenges. You pile it all up and it's really a hard time to be in the industry," Somers told Seacoast Current.
The organization does offer two avenues of assistance for workers and owners.
Somers said they host a Facebook public group called the NH Restaurants, Hotels, & Attractions Job Board, where jobs are posted.
The other is the New Hampshire Hospitality Employee Relief Fund for all food service, hotel, and attraction workers, regardless of whether or not their employer is an association member. Over $200,000 has been distributed to 800 workers since 2020 when the fund was created to help workers impacted by closures during the pandemic.
"It's an opportunity for those employees to apply for aid and support to help them bridge between now and their next job. We're happy to help them regardless whether they're members or not," Somers said.
Cinnamon Rainbows sustained the least amount of damage and extended condolences to the restaurants. They are optimistic that they will be able to reopen soon.