In The News
2013 Snowflake Shuffle
Published by: Millennium Running
Date: 02 /10 / 2013
On Sunday February 10th 1000 runners gathered at Copper Door Restaurant in Bedford NH to participate in the annual 5K Snowflake Shuffle. The Copper Door provided $50 gift certificates to each of the top 3 overall men & women AND the male & female winners of each age group (-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70+) and a complimentary beer ticket to everyone 21+.
David Cote – A great job by Millennium Running, the Cooper Door and the town of Bedford. A great race and a great turnout.
Monica Doyle Cousins – Fun run, uphill a killer! Thank you Copper Door!
Karin Weismann Biskovich – Yes another fun race. Great job Millennium Running and the Copper Door! Everything went so smoothly.
Dee Tamulonis Foley – what a great time. kudos to The Copper Door!
Kristin Lavigne – Great race!! Thank you to the Copper Door!! Millennium running you do a fantastic job!!
Kathleen Jacobson Holtshouser – Well done Millennium Running!!! Loved the Copper Door and the course! Perfect day!!!
Copper Door restaurant in Bedford offers fine dining
in a beautiful setting
Published by: Encore Food & Fun
Date: 01 /03 / 2013
I’d been hearing a lot about Copper Door Restaurant in Bedford and finally had an opportunity to go. It’s definitely worth the trip, especially if you have a reason to splurge or celebrate.
Copper Door is easy to find at the intersection of Route 101 and Route 114. The building is impressive and boasts ‘the most expensive door in restaurant history.’ The heavy custom-made copper clad front door welcomes you into a sizeable entryway. As you enter the restaurant, you can’t help but look up at the open, exposed beam ceiling.
First time visitors must draw attention by their reactions to entering the expansive dining area. I felt like I’d entered someone’s home. The whole evening was filled with personal touches.
Wagon-wheel style chandeliers hang casually from the high open ceilings. At the edge of the bar is a large butcher block table that could be in someone’s large kitchen – the Roost just begs for a friendly gathering. Local art hangs on the walls and draws the eye as you look around the room.
A beautiful open-sided fireplace sits in the center of the dining hall, just in front of the entrance. On chilly evenings, it gives off a lot of warmth.
My dining companion and I were seated in the general dining room. Tables have casual seating options – whether you select a captain’s chair, regular chair, or have the option of bench seating, you’ll be comfortable. Throughout the meal, I felt like I should have a smoking robe, pipe, snifter of brandy and that discussions should be about great literary works.
We started our evening with wine. Copper Door has an exceptional list of reds, chardonnays, sauvignon blanc, pinot grigio & pinot gris, whites, zinfandels, martinis and more. Most are available by the bottle, some by the glass.
I had a glass of the ’09 Hess Select Chardonnay from Monterey, CA ($8.50), and my friend selected the ’11 Frisk Prickly Riesling from Victoria, Australia ($7.00).
Wine glasses were already on the table. The server brought our drinks in small carafes and poured the servings into the glasses. It was just another elegant and comforting touch to the dining experience.
The restaurant uses local vendors as much as possible for their menu selections, so everything is fresh. And if you have nothing else when you visit, you absolutely must have some of the house Monkey Bread. It is served fresh from the oven in small loaves and is incredibly delicious with its mix of herbs and cheeses.
The evening was a celebration of sorts, so I went all out and had the Filet Mignon ($36). The 9-ounce portion of meat was cooked to a perfect medium and was served with asparagus and a small pot of fingerling potatoes.
The meal was superb and I didn’t have any leftovers.
Copper Door has a Cozy Comfort menu that includes turkey stew ($15), meatloaf ($16), and buttermilk chicken ($19.50). I almost had the Tenderloin Shepherd’s Pie ($17) because it sounded perfect for a chilly December evening – sweet corn, peas, roasted mushrooms, pearl onions, smashed red bliss potato and pinot noir demi. It is definitely a meal I have to try.
My friend had the Sun-dried Tomato and Vegetable Fettuccini ($16) from the Copper Classics menu, along with a side of Baby Sweet Potatoes ($5).
She called it delicious and just the right portion size.
We wrapped up our evening with the Hot Apple Crisp ($7) which came with ice cream from Jake’s in Milford, although the Fudge Sampler ($8) intrigued both of us. All of the homemade desserts sound delectable, including the Carrot Cake Bread Pudding ($7) and signature Copper Cupcake ($7).
Copper Door is upscale casual and when you’re there you feel like you’re visiting someone’s home. Even though it’s spacious, the restaurant feels like a friend’s dining room. It is inviting and warm and casual.
The food is delicious, the Monkey Bread is a must-have and the restaurant is a friendly place to experience.
Copper Door is part of the Great NH Restaurants family that includes Cactus Jack’s and T-Bones.
Tip: Children’s menu has meals priced from $6 to $14. Lunch is served daily with selections ranging from $8.50 to $17.
Copper Door a Phantom Gourmet Hidden Jewel
Published by: Phantom Gourmet
Date: 06 /23 / 2012
A homemade bread basket hot out of the oven. Fresh iced tea brewed right at the table. And the most expensive door in restaurant history. It's the little details that make a big difference at The Copper Door.
Brand new to Bedford New Hampshire, The Copper Door serves upscale comfort food with a New American twist, in an open and airy dining room complete with soaring ceilings, wooden beams, and local art.
Tom Boucher - Owner, Copper Door: "It's a place that makes you feel like you're in someone's grand home, but at the same time it's warm and inviting."
Tom Boucher owns a bunch of restaurants in the Granite State, but this is his crown jewel. So he spared no expense at The Copper Door, right down to the restaurant's custom made copper clad front door.
Tom Boucher - Owner, Copper Door: "It's an original door that we spent upwards of twenty thousand dollars just for the door. And we did that because it's the name of the restaurant and it's got to have a first impression when you walk in that it's quality, it's unique, and it's inviting."
And once you come through the door, the food coming out of the open kitchen will exceed your expectations with every bite, beginning with your first bite, of the unique bread basket, baked in house, served warm, and made for sharing.
"It's Monkey Bread and it's got herbs and cheeses and butter. It's really sweet, salty, a little bit of everything... It's more of an interactive bread. It's not the old fashioned roll that you get at the table. You're actually going to be able to enjoy it with the entire family at the table. Everybody's going to pull apart a piece, if you really enjoy it, you're gonna get another one."
The menu at The Copper Door is filled with mouthwatering choices. Appetizers include Tenderloin Sliders with Caramelized Onion and Gorgonzola Fondue, Bacon Wrapped Shrimp with Wild Honey, and Steak and Cheese Spring Rolls with Spicy Ketchup.
It’s hand rolled in house and we use a jasmine spring roll wrapper, it gives it that crispiness on the outside with the Philly Cheese Steak on the inside. Really gooey, warm, melts in your mouth.
Comfort food favorites are well represented. From the bacon topped Meatloaf with Mushroom Gravy and Onion Straws to the Buttermilk Fried Chicken with Garlic Mashed Potatoes.
Tom Boucher - Owner, Copper Door: "It's basically the best fried chicken you'll ever have. When you bite into it, it's crunchy on the outside, the juice, when you cut into it, it's so juicy."
Carnivores can get their fix with a Cheddar Bacon Burger served alongside Hand-Cut Fries, or the sixteen ounce Ribeye with red wine demi. And Seafood choices range from a simple Cedar Planked Salmon, to a simply sensational Cioppino.
Tom Boucher - Owner, Copper Door: "The Cioppino is probably one of my favorite dishes. Mussels, scallops, swordfish and shrimp, and we actually build flavors in the pan... a little fennel in there, some sweet roasted garlic, and a tomato broth. And when you get it to the table it just explodes with flavor."
For dessert, the dense fudgy Chocolate Sin Cake with Cranberry Compote is a good choice. But the Bananas Foster is an even better one. And instead of preparing it tableside, they fire it up in the kitchen, and serve it with Angel Food Cake and Vanilla Ice Cream.
You get the creaminess from the vanilla ice cream, you get the little cake so it kind of soaks up some of the banana. And then a caramel sauce is just so sweet and overpowering, it's just unbelievable.
For something to drink, there's a large and happening bar, mixing up creative cocktails alongside an extensive wine list. But for something you've never seen before, just order a fresh brewed Iced Tea. This simple drink is given an interactive twist, as customers are given a pot of hot water to steep their tea, a pitcher of ice to chill it down, and tall glass to serve it up.
Tom Boucher - Owner, Copper Door: "The first time they see it, they're not sure what to do because you've got the big pitcher and the small pitcher and then your glass of ice, so it's coming to your table with three components, and then of course our servers will explain how do actually do it, and they're completely blown away that they're having made to order fresh brewed iced tea."
It's little touches like that, that make The Copper Door a Phantom Gourmet... Hidden Jewel.
The Chef's Plate Featuring GNHR Restaurants
Published by: The Chef's Plate
Date: 07 /26 / 2012
Join Helen and Scott as they sit down with CEO Tom Boucher at the Copper Door, and with Chef Nicole™ at CJ's, and T-Bones.
Business Hero Tom Boucher Has Full Menu Of Giving
Published by: Cabinet Press
Date: 07 /26 / 2012
Tom Boucher is the CEO and one of the owners of Great NH Restaurants, headquartered in Bedford. Boucher manages restaurants such as the Cactus Jack in Manchester and T-Bones in Bedford, as well as locations in Laconia, Salem and Hudson. In addition, Boucher opened The Copper Door in Bedford in December.
Boucher still has time for other commitments, and spends a great deal of time giving back to those in the community who give to the restaurants. Boucher took over as CEO in 2004 and has never looked back. Since then, he’s helped numerous people in the community with donations. For those reasons, he was nominated as The Cabinet Press Business Hero.
“We do a thing called Thanks for Giving,” Boucher said.
Last fall, Boucher helped raise $4,000 for the Bedford Fire Department. Running from mid-October through Thanksgiving, the restaurants’ patrons could give $5 and get a $5 gift card in return.
“Their budget doesn’t always allow for them to buy new equipment,” Boucher said of the fire department. “So we fundraised for it.”
Boucher also made donations to the Bedford Police Department. When The Copper Door opened, a box out front provided a place for people to put donations. The money went to the department’s RUOK Program, which was set in place as a “reverse 911 call,” Boucher said. Police call the town’s senior citizens who have signed up for the service to check on them.
Also, when Chief of Police David Bailey retired, Boucher offered to cater a luncheon for him.
“We appreciated his services so we offered ours,” Boucher said.
But the donations don’t stop there. Boucher has donated food from the restaurants on numerous occasions. An all-night fundraiser for Bedford High School students and a luncheon to honor Bedford town employees were catered by Boucher and his restaurants.
He’s also given various gift certificates and sponsors the Bedford Friends of Recreation, Bedford Little League, Bedford Bulldogs Hockey, Animal Rescue League, and the Bedford Men’s Club, just to name a few.
“If someone asks, and it’s going to help someone in the community, we never say no,” Boucher said.
On the T-Bones website, there is a request form for charities to fill out in order to receive donation help from Boucher and his restaurants. He looks to help as many as he possibly can.
“It’s who we are,” Boucher said. “For us, it just makes sense to give back to the community that gives to us.”
Boucher said the company is creating its own nonprofit organization for next year. The Great NH Restaurants FEED NH Foundation, will help people in a variety of ways.
FEED stands for Families, Elderly, Education and Deprived.
“It’s a long process, but we are preparing and we’re excited about that,” Boucher said. “We’ve been thinking about this for a while.”
Money raised will also go to help other nonprofit organizations, he said.
But Boucher doesn’t just donate food or money. Recently, he arranged for chef Nicole Barreira, one of the chefs at T-Bones Restaurants, to teach students at various schools how to eat healthy.
With his hands full, he also plans fundraisers at the restaurants in the Laconia and Salem locations, such as participating in the Turkey Plunge at Thanksgiving and a Prize Wheel for the Field of Dreams in Salem.
Next February, Boucher plans to continue with a fundraiser he’s always done. The Sweetheart of a Deal runs from mid- January to Valentine’s Day at the restaurants, where donations of $5 will get you a $5 gift certificate. The fundraiser helps the Caregivers of NH.
Boucher estimates he has raised more than $1 million from donating and fundraising, and hopes to continue his efforts in the future.
“I love what I do, every part of what I do,” he said. “It’s hard, but it’s very rewarding.”
The Grand Beauty of the Copper Door Restaurant
Published by: Bastille Metal Works
Date: 07 /17 / 2012
Bastille Metal Works crafted a unique zinc bar to fit the high quality and upscale comfort foods of the Copper Door Restaurant in Bedford, New Hampshire. The love of fresh seafood, top notch produce, blended with accents of carefully chosen spices are just a few of the reasons why New Hampshire Magazine and Hippo Press have named the Copper Door “Best New Restaurant” and “Best New Eatery.” The restaurant has also been praised for their diverse menu of bar items which reflect the local New England cuisine with a twist.
To accomplish this job we used our on-site, mobile casting method to locally build and cast the pieces in the metal of the customer’s choice. We fully assembled it on location, making sure all client needs were met throughout the process. For this particular bar, a drop was needed to fully accommodate all disabilities and make the bar wheel chair accessible. We carefully built and cast this piece to perfectly fit the aesthetic of the rest of the bar design.
The warmth of the zinc and bustling charm of the Copper Door interior, featuring exposed wood beams, spacious dining areas, and locally created art make this concept a perfect selection for an exquisite and expansive fine food venue. We were thrilled to have the opportunity to work in such an inviting environment and hope to work with the Copper Door team again in the near future.
Fine food, delicious drink, classic character!
Published by: New Hampshire Business Review
Date: 04 /20 / 2012
As you walk through the custom-made copper door, you imnewstely feel a vibe and energy that lifts your spirits.
High ceilings with exposed timber trusses and architectural forged steel detail help create a feeling of grandness that is well put together.
Handsome lighting showcases large-scale, hand-painted, original art featuring views of local farms that beautify the expansive walls.
Boasting ample space, the restaurant has over 125 seats in the dining room, two private dining rooms that seat 20-and 40-person parties, and a large, inviting bar and lounge.
Elegant transom windows look west toward a gorgeously landscaped outdoor stone terrace, which will welcome diners throughout the warmer months.
The genesis for Copper Door came about several years ago when Tom Boucher (CEO/owner of Great NH Restaurants) and his wife Dana were traveling. Tom's position as a board member with the National Restaurant Association has enabled them to dine at some of the finest and most popular restaurants across the country.
Over the years, they have admired a handful of restaurants that have been able to capture the combination of a classy, high-end restaurant without the usual stuffiness associated with it. It has been their dream to open and own a restaurant that would rival those in the big cities and this past December, that dream became reality.
"Approachable New American and Upscale Comfort Foods" is how we describe our culinary creations.
Guests at the Copper Door enjoy a wide-ranging, exciting and inventive combination of tastes featuring local New England seafood, classic-yet-inspired stone oven creations, hand-cut Reserve Premium steaks, unique salads, and house specialties that personify Copper Door's passion and respect of fine food and classic culinary technique. Reservations are recommended for all parties of all sizes and walk-in guests are welcome.
"Come join us at the Copper Door, where we've taken all the best fine dining has to offer but left the stale stuffiness behind!" - CEO-Owner, Tom Boucher
In an elegant setting, fine dining indeed
Published by: Boston Globe
Date: 03 /18 / 2012
The Copper Door is the latest project of Tom Boucher, the president and CEO of T-Bones and Cactus Jack’s, a New Hampshire chain of seven family-style restaurants known for good food at reasonable prices. This time he’s aiming at a more upscale audience, and he’s hit his mark.
“There are many people out there who are kind of intimidated by the fine dining environment. This will be a place people can go on a Tuesday night, get high-quality food and high-end service in an atmosphere that is more relaxed,’’ Boucher wrote in a posting on the restaurant’s website.
Though we must admit we’ve never been intimidated by haute cuisine, we have to say he’s succeeded, though we do have a few quibbles.
The building is magnificent, an arts-and-crafts style showplace with a vaulted ceiling held up by great beams, cool exposed duct work, and copper pans and kettles displayed on the wall of an open kitchen with a stone, wood-fired oven that towers above the 125-seat dining room.
The lighting and large original expressionist paintings inspired by the local landscape, as well as the stunning country furniture and decorative copper cookware, lend a French countryside feel to the eatery.
The airy lounge overlooking a stone terrace that will have outdoor seating when the weather cooperates also makes the Copper Door an attractive venue for socializing as well as dining.
It’s obvious that no detail has been overlooked, from the fine glassware that glitters under the flickering candlelight to the stone tile floor. But it must be mentioned that the open concept of the room, while very attractive, makes it difficult to hear the person sitting right across from you at the table.
And while we’re on the subject, we’d opt for music more suitable to such a gorgeous restaurant than piped-in pop rock. Cool jazz or something with an international sound would be more apropos.
That notwithstanding, the executive chef has created an extensive menu of New England comfort foods made with a twist, and we detected the flavor of French country cooking as well.
The luncheon menu features wood-planked scallops ($16) with diced tomato and pancetta asparagus, and roast turkey sandwich on brioche with field greens, cranberry mayo, and cucumber salad ($8). A wood-fired stone oven stars in the pan-seared swordfish ($28), cioppino ($24), and pizzas, and is used to flavor many other dishes as well.
There is also a butcher shop menu, with prime cuts including 16-ounce rib eye ($32) with rustic garlic mashed potatoes and a pinot noir glaze, and a pork porterhouse ($26) with roasted sweet potato and yellow wax beans cooked in a sour cherry reduction.
The comfort foods include buttermilk chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy ($19), and caul fat wrapped meatloaf ($16) with potatoes in a wild mushroom sauce.
Our meal was preceded by a small loaf of garlic brioche that melted in our mouths. It disappeared in a moment and another quickly appeared. Our server was authoritative, but not overbearing and always at the ready when we wanted him, a great guide to a complicated menu. And the wine list is also extensive, with more than 140 vintages. There are also several vintage ports and single malt scotches.
Inside the Copper Door
Published by: NH Magazine, Susan Laughlin
Date: 03 /01 / 2012
Bringing the light of the big city to suburban Bedford. Does food taste better in deluxe surroundings? The new Copper Door in Bedford has raised the standard for upscale fare served with a dash of class and a bit of shock and awe. The place is designed to impress - from your first foot in the door.
The principals of Great New Hampshire Restaurants Inc. (T-Bones and Cactus Jack's), Tom Boucher and Dan Fraser, decided to make the leap to finer dining. Not fine dining, which has been pronounced dead by the dining public, but dining in an upscale atmosphere where the cost of entrées average in the twenties or more. Here, diners are not expected to dress up for the outing or speak in hushed tones. It's about creating a hip environment that makes dining out a fun event and hopefully the quality of the food rises to the occasion.
Tom Boucher has been representing New Hampshire as a board member of the National Restaurant Association for a number of years. In that capacity he travels to Chicago, New York, and, as he says, "someplace warm," watching the dining trends in trend-setting places. He has wanted to bring the big city and bright lights to New Hampshire for some time.
Seeing an upswing at T-Bones and Cactus Jack's, Boucher broke ground in Bedford last July and opened the Copper Door this past December.
The new construction was basically designed by Mark Fenske, who has been in the restaurant business for more than 30 years and was one of the original founders of T-Bones. He understands the mechanics of food service and translated that into an intriguing floor plan and inspired structure. Additional layers of design were added by the partners, including Tom Boucher's wife Dana Boucher, who created several of the large landscape paintings that grace the walls. Boucher says, "We kept a book of swatches and ideas from our travels."
Giving credit where credit is due, the partners did a superlative job on the overall concept and interior design. It's all a big wow from the moment you heave open the impressive copper door. That door, custom fabricated in Vermont, cost $35,000. But as Boucher says, "We felt obliged, after all it is the name of the restaurant."
There is another big wow when you enter. The ceiling soars but the dining spaces are intimate. The materials used are solid and substantial. Looking closer you notice the details - a beautiful stone fireplace commands center stage, the bar top is solid metallic and, yes, it has purse hooks! The large U-shaped bar fosters community engagement while a communal table, a new trend in dining, provides a setting for about eight strangers or intimates to converse easily. Another space called the Roost provides seating in Ethan Allen upholstered chairs with a smattering of small tables. It's a cozy place to wait for a table or enjoy a drink or two.
Also on the left side of the restaurant is a small room - Twenty West - with seating for groups of 20 or a quiet environment on busy nights.
On the right side of the restaurant is more conventional seating, but thought has been given to table arrangement that breaks up the space with half walls, booths and banquettes. A banquette for eight faces the other side of the great stone fireplace and is, as Boucher says, "the best seat in the house."
It's not all about pretty. Partner Dan Fraser says, "We made sure the facility was built with all the LEED standards." He says the HVAC units are one-sixth the size required for the Hudson T-Bones.
The total look is urban but the space is firmly rooted in New Hampshire tradition with wood, stone and a post-and-beam spin-off.
Service has been given a face-lift, too. Boucher says it's all about teamwork and to promote that mantra, both the front of the house and the kitchen staff wear the same brown uniformed look.
The menu is broad-based with offerings from grilled cheese to Delmonico steak, plus a nice selection of "snacks" for those who like to graze somewhere in-between. One of Boucher's favorite lighter dishes is the roasted beet salad - a carpaccio of golden beets and sugared pecans with a nicely acidic dressing.
With a full-time pastry chef the dessert list is compelling. Most alluring is the oversized carrot cupcake set in a white chocolate "wrapper." Also from the baker, a savory monkey bread served with dinner.
The wine list has been given serious consideration. Bottles start at $35 and you can even find Opus One for $240. With high turnover, they expect to offer about 20 wines by the glass. Both red and wine wines are in custom-built, temperature-controlled cabinets to ensure proper serving temperatures and the backup storage is chilled, too.
Local ingredients include bacon and ham from the North Country Smokehouse in Claremont and produce from a local farm in season.
The menu is expected to be updated three times a year with a switch-out for seasonal items. A unique way to be invited to the seasonal menu tastings is to become a member. The Copper Door offers three VIP levels starting at $2,000. For the up-front cash you get a card loaded with $1,000, 10-percent discounts on bottles of wine and invitations to the menu tastings. Additional levels offer more incentives.
Come spring, the south terrace, lined with a granite stone wall, will open for outdoor dining to bring the total seats to 225 in the 8,000-square-foot space.
One would suspect that this restaurant pretty much checked off all the boxes on Boucher's restaurateur wish list. It should be a good investment for diners, too. NH
Copper Door is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week with the lunch menu served until 4:30. Reservations are taken only for parties of six or more.
Copper Door Donates $1,500 for Bedford's "Are You Okay" Program
Published by: New Hampshire Lodging & Restaurant Association
Date: 03 /01 / 2012
Great NH Restaurants' newest concept, the highly anticipated Copper Door, announced Tuesday that friends and family of the organization raised $1,500 at the pre-opening nights in December for the 'RUOK' program. The donations were collected during the few days of Copper Door's pre-opening employee, friends, and family service nights.
The monies collected will benefit the RUOK initiative founded by the Bedford Police Dept. Through the RUOK program, which is offered at no cost to its subscribers, the Bedford Police Dept. checks on the well-being of citizen participants, mostly seniors, with daily phone calls. If a call goes unanswered, a BPD officer is dispatched to the residence to make sure the individual is okay and not in need of emergency assistance.
"We couldn't be happier to donate the $1,500 to the RUOK program and Bedford Police department," said Tom Boucher, owner and CEO of Great NH Restaurants. "It is a fantastic program being offered and an enormous peace of mind for the individuals enrolled and their families".
Just opening this past December, Copper Door will surely participate in many more charitable events with the Great NH Restaurants family of restaurants.
Copper Door breaks ground in Bedford, NH
Published by: Hippo Press, Angel Roy
Date: 05 /18 / 2011
Tom Boucher envisions his customers entering the arched copper doors of his new eatery for approachable fine dining cuisine in a relaxed atmosphere. Boucher broke ground on his new 8,000-square-foot restaurant, The Copper Door, in Bedford last month, and building will begin early this summer. He hopes to open before Christmas.
Boucher opened T-Bones in 1984 and Cactus Jack's in 1995. There are now seven locations of the two local chains.
"When we started T-Bones … opening Cactus Jack's was certainly very different," Boucher said. "Being a Southwestern restaurant, it was not quite as classic … it has a little more bar scene and obviously the foods were more Southwestern and a little more edgy." The foundational principles of CJ's and T-Bones and core cultural aspects will be carried over to the Copper Door, but the new restaurant's concept will be much different, Boucher said.
"We decided to go into that level of dining that is really wedged between casual and fine … it is no secret that since C.R. Sparks closed, there is definitely a void that has been left in the Bedford market for that level of dining," he said. "The opportunity is there in front of us."
Boucher said his company has two other concepts up its sleeve. "There are lots of opportunities in different parts of the state," he said. "The key is that you have to find the right location."
The new eatery's spot at the intersection of Route 101 and Olde Bedford Road is an "A-plus location," Boucher said, but in addition to location, timing is also key in a restaurant's success.
Boucher said he has seen an upswing in business at all seven of his eateries.
"It is clear that the economy is starting to turn back around … we all felt like the timing was great [to open a new restaurant]," he said.
Chef Nicole Barreira, who oversees all CJ's and T-Bones locations, will have a hand in the development of the new 200+-seat restaurant, but Boucher plans to hire a chef whose only focus will be the Copper Door.
"I think that's what people expect, to have the chef on site all the time," Boucher said, adding that everything on the chef-inspired menu will be made from scratch. "We will try to create a menu that is very approachable for people," he continued, adding that it is too early to be thinking about what dishes the restaurant will offer.
Boucher plans to hire a staff of more than 100, including a new general manager, to open the eatery.
"When you first open, everyone wants to come try it — again, with our experience, that is just how it goes," he said. "Restaurants have a honeymoon period for their first three months."
"Within that time frame, we will also start to understand who are the solid, quality employees that will stay," he added.
While he said the Copper Door will "not be casual by any means," Boucher said customers will not feel the stuffiness often found at high-end restaurants in big cities.
"I think there are many people out there kind of intimidated by the fine dining environment … even the wine list can keep people from dining at those locations as much as they'd like," he said. "This will be someplace you can go on a Tuesday night, get high-quality food and high-end served in an atmosphere that is more relaxed."
Boucher said even the restaurant's name, suggested by his wife, gives him a vision of a very classy restaurant, without evoking an air of pretentiousness.
"It just speaks to what we're trying to do," he said.
Copper Door Gets Planning Board Approval
Published by: New Hampshire Business Review, Greg Kwasnik
Date: 02 /27 / 2011
Construction is underway as develop meets with board. Construction on a bank, restaurant, and 244-unit elderly housing and assisted living development could begin within several weeks, the project's developer said following a Planning Board meeting on Feb. 14.
The project will go up near the intersection of Route 101 and Old Bedford Road, across from the Bedford Public Safety Complex and the Bedford Village Inn.
The property is owned by the Order of Saint Benedict, and is being developed by AV Bedford, LLC.
The project's developers met with the Planning Board on Monday to get approval for architecture designs for the bank and restaurant.
When the Planning Board approved the project in 2009, developers had not secured tenants for the two proposed businesses.
In total, the new development will boast 81,848 square feet of commercial space, including the bank, restaurant, coffee shop, pharmacy, and medical office building.
The main thrust of the mixed-use development features 160 elderly-housing units and 84 assisted-living units.
Project developer Dick Anagnost said construction on the restaurant, bank and assisted- living facility will begin within the next few weeks.
The restaurant is expected to be the first to open in November, Anagnost said.
That eatery, which will be called The Copper Door Restaurant, received quick architectural approval from the Planning Board.
The restaurant will incorporate a shingle and clapboard façade with a large copper door.
"I think this is probably one of those that we like what we see. That's why you're not hearing any comments," said Paul Goldberg, Planning Board chairman. "Normally when it's the other way, we hear a lot of comments."
The Copper Door Restaurant will be the newest venture for Great NH Restaurants Inc., which owns the Cactus Jack's and T-Bones restaurants.
The new eatery will fill a neglected dining niche in Bedford, said Great NH Restaurants CEO and co-owner Tom Boucher.
"My partners and I have found there is a void in the Bedford market looking for quality dining but not the stuffiness that comes along with fine dining," Boucher said. "We're creating a place right in between casual dining and fine dining."
The Copper Door will feature new American comfort food created by chefs from New York City and Boston, Boucher said.
Planning Board officials also gave architectural approval to the proposed bank, a Bellwether Community Credit Union.
The credit union will feature yellow plank clapboards, a manufactured stone base, a metal roof, and a small clock tower. There are currently three Bellwether Community Credit Union branches in New Hampshire, with two in Manchester and one in Nashua.
Business Hero Tom Boucher has full menu of giving
New eatery on tap for Route 101
Published by: Bedford Journal, Cameron Kittle
Date: 02 /27 / 2011
T-Bones and Cactus Jack's has announced a new project in Bedford. The man in charge of popular area restaurants T-Bones and Cactus Jack's has announced a new project in Bedford that will combine classy and casual dining into one fun experience.
The Copper Door restaurant is scheduled to open about one year from now, around Christmas 2011, at the new development at Bedford Hills on Route 101, near the intersection of Route 114.
The new area at Bedford Hills will include a coffee shop, bank and a medical office building to go along with the new restaurant.
Tom Boucher, owner and CEO of T-Bones and Cactus Jack's, said the high volume of traffic and visibility at the new park make it a great spot for a restaurant.
"We picked the right community, the right location at the right time," he said. "I'm really excited about adding this to our family of restaurants."
The new Bedford Hills development was scheduled to break ground Jan. 1, Boucher said, and it will take some time for that project to finish and then a few more months to complete the restaurant's interior design and hiring of staff.
Boucher said he's targeted a couple of chefs, one locally and another from the Boston area, because that is one of the first positions he'd like to lock down early. He said he wants someone who will be "excited and inspired" to develop the new menu.
"We'll have the service and a chef-inspired menu, but our atmosphere will be fun," he said. "There will be some whimsical undertones where people will feel comfortable in that environment."
While T-Bones has had success by focusing on families and offering "quality comfort food with great value," Boucher said he thinks his new project will make similar progress with a different kind of fine dining experience.
Boucher said he's found there is a "stuffiness" associated with high-class restaurants that he will try to stay away from, like an intimidating menu or wine list, and instead focus on providing the top level of service.
"There will be something very familiar about it," he said. "People will say, 'Hey, this feels like that place in Boston or New York,' and if they've been in those kind of cities, it's going to feel like a restaurant that belongs there."
Boucher said he's received positive feedback so far and thinks The Copper Door will be "exactly what Bedford needs."
Boucher's wife, Dana, came up with the name. She is a freelance artist with interior design experience, and Boucher said her paintings will adorn the walls inside the new restaurant.
"She came up with the name several years ago," he said. "I thought the name sounded classy, with a tasteful sound to it. That's the look and feel we're trying to get for the restaurant."
The Copper Door will be Boucher's eighth restaurant. There are T-Bones locations in Bedford, Derry, Hudson, Laconia, and Salem, and Cactus Jack's restaurants in Laconia and Manchester