Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Merrimack Restaurant, RIP

Sorry to read yesterday in The Boston Globe that the landmark Merrimack Restaurant in Manchester, New Hampshire, is closing its doors. The restaurant was always a popular spot on the campaign trail given its central location on Manchester's main thoroughfare and its working- and middle-class customers who could be counted on to vote in the first-in-the-nation primary.

Here's a picture I took this last January just before the primary of a mural painted along the side of the restaurant. Among the faces are Gary Hart, Steve Forbes, Bill Clinton, Joe Lieberman, and Bob Dole. (Interesting that only Hart and Clinton actually won the primary. And Clinton only won it running for a second term.) Perhaps it was a sign of things to come that the restaurant was closed that day I walked by. No customers inside. Just a camera crew interviewing a focus group of voters. Used to be that the regular customers could be counted on to be the focus group for candidates. No more.

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