New Mexican Restaurant for Exeter?

It could go in at the old Friendly's building on Portsmouth Avenue.

Exeter may soon have another Mexican-themed restaurant.

It would be located at the old Friendly's building on Portsmouth Avenue. The building is being remodeled, according to a permit posted on the door. Town officials have learned a Mexican restaurant is expected to be built there. The restaurant does not yet have a name.

The permit was taken out by a Merrimack man. He could not be reached for comment Monday.

The restaurant would be the third Mexican-themed eatery in the retail section of Portsmouth Avenue. Margaritas and Las Olas are less than a half-mile away from the old Friendly's building, located at 72 Portsmouth Ave.

The Exeter Friendly's closed in January after the company reportedly suffered from rising operating costs, among other factors.

Jason Claffey December 05, 2012 at 06:04 PM
Here's a sampling of comments from the Exeter Patch Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ExeterPatch): "Rats. I was hoping for a Panera." —Beth Diamond "Well I guess it's better than another chinese food restaurant, or gas station, or car dealership." —Lee Fraser Rollick "That's a switch. Exeter used to (have) all pizza/Italian (eateries). Now it's going Mexican!" —Brad Rice
Read Daly December 07, 2012 at 06:43 PM
I also agree with the other commenters that a Panera would have been great at that old Friendly's location although there probably isn't enough parking to support a Panera. Las Olas has a very limited menu and it's quality is frustratingly inconsistent, plus Las Olas and Margaritas aren't really "authentic" so hopefully this new one is, I imagine the owner knows what he's doing.
Christina Hardy December 07, 2012 at 08:22 PM
Yes, an enterprising person is taking on the challenge of opening a new restaurant and the space was there for anyone. What I would like to see is the Exeter taking more control. All this will serve to do for the community is reduce market share for the existing two mexican restaurants and one of the 3 will probably go out of business in the next year or two because of it. I don't like mexican food so I don't much care about losing one, but I do care about business owners struggling to survive, then facing extra hardship due to what appears to be poor planning. How about we get pro-active and a group of us start planning what we would like to see in Exeter, then seeing if we can make that happen together? Maybe a Panera would have been nice - and we might have been able to make that happen.
Ed Towle December 07, 2012 at 11:26 PM
Would of liked to see an american buffet or like golden corral
Kim in Exeter December 14, 2012 at 03:01 AM
Too bad ... Already have two Mexican restaurants. What about a steakhouse, like Longhorn's in Newington, or how about a Trader Joe's like the fabulous one also in Newington.


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