Granite State of Mind, #117: The Riverworks, Newmarket
I've always considered Newmarket as something I have to endure to get somewhere else; an obstacle between Stratham and Durham, straddling 108 along the Lamprey River like Exeter's Academy-less little sister. But as I thought about the town, I realized I have more than a few memories and stories from the 03857. I remember working alongside Mike Vlacich in the UNH Saferides van on a weekend evening, shuttle full of lubricated revelers, getting pulled over driving the wrong way down a one-way street. I remember getting subs from Wheelie's for a first date with a Newmarket Mule more than twenty years ago (and, incidentally, improbably, attending the 1994 Newmarket High Homecoming Dance). I remember when Al and Emily and newborn Albert lived in one of the Cheney apartments in the Cherry Hill anthill about that same time. (What was the name of the breakfast joint down by the docks? "Oh my, their huge.") And more that will rate their own entries: the Great Bay Athletic Club, for instance.
One of the places I still enjoy is The Riverworks Restaurant and Tavern. It's a historic building with great ambience, dark wood and red brick granting a cozy feel to the pub area. It's the perfect spot for drinks and a bite after a UNH hockey game, or for dinner in its own right. There have been plenty of pleasant evenings there with Al Pace or Keith Remillard or Matt Carlyon among others. For some reason, every memory I have of going there involves snow on the ground and frigid temperatures, making the warm interior even more inviting. It's a worthy cousin to the Tavern at River's Edge in Exeter, or The Press Room in Portsmouth, a local watering hole with a neighborhood feel.