On the “long” and meandering way home from a great and typical Labor Day weekend in Maine, (beach sweatshirts, breezy golf, bbq…) while avoiding rainy day bumper-to-bumper on Route 1 and 95(S) we happened into Dover, NH, just North of Portsmouth.
For starters, who knew!?
After miles of green and rolling hills, wet cows and achy barns, in a moment, large industrial brick buildings, a town center and some cool food and beverage options were at hand.
After a few circles around town looking for our destination for brunch’ish–at a new place on the corner’ish of Chapel+Main, named Chapel+Main, owned by the Black Birch folks, with delicious food (3 pieces of perfectly crispy Niman Ranch bacon for an imperfect $7- and many many more dishes that went ’round) , the (5) of us asked our lovely, friendly, patient waitress Emma for a cool place to have a properly poured pint’ish of craft beer. Emma sent us to 7th Settlement, a point.2 miles away stroll downhill in the mist.
At 7th Settlement…samplers!
House crafted beers, from lager to brown, served by excellent (and patient, maybe even humored) beer-tenders. And, the one of the best things about 7th Settlement–alongside delicious beer in a community driven environment, in the beautiful, huge old, wood-brick charm of a Mill’ish building built in 1843 (according to the brass plate on the outside entrance wall), we found that on the very next day, Labor Day, the owners–as reported by our smiling bartender Claudia, were changing their business model to a “No Tipping–Hospitality Included” environment.
I so love the brave, progressive, and impassioned commitment to swimming upstream, against a system that is increasingly damaged and even more challenging, due to legislative taxing of the scant hospitality bottom line. You have heard it all before–if you read this blog or my column in Merrimack Valley Magazine or, Hospitality News, the industry leading Danny Meyers approach, or visit Tres Gatos in JP or….
PLEASE….if you ever happen into Dover, or are close by, stop in to 7th Settlement and show your support for spirit, for love of craft, for pioneers who are not afraid to do what needs doing. Help keep our people committed and proud and able to afford quality of life.
Did I mention the great beer?