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Katie McQuaid's Scene in Manchester: Coming next month -- DIY with wine

March 16. 2018 11:29PM

Fans of HGTV shows like Fixer Upper will want to check out AR Workshop when it opens on the ground floor of the former Citizen’s Bank building at 875 Elm St. next month.

Owner Laura McKelligan said she became enamored with the boutique DIY studio franchise while living in the Washington, D.C., area. When the Goffstown native returned home to New Hampshire she knew it was time to bring the concept north.

“We’re the only one in New England right now,” she said. While McKelligan is the owner of the enterprise, she couldn’t have taken on this venture without help from her husband, Mark McKelligan, and their four children, along with her best friend Stephanie Joyce.

AR Workshop offers hands-on classes for creating personalized home decor from raw materials. Instructors lead classes on various projects like custom wood plank signs, framed signs, canvas pillows, round signs, Lazy Susans, centerpiece boxes, canvas tote bags and more.

AR Workshop sounds perfect for someone like me who likes the idea of being crafty, but ends up with a half-finished project and a huge mess. Participants get to live out their inner Joanna Gaines without leaving a disaster in their home, and they take their creation home the same day.

“You don’t have to be crafty,” McKelligan promises. She expects AR Workshop will be an evening destination for friends and couples looking for a fun and creative night out. Most projects are about $65. Crafters can bring their own beverages and snacks.

Weekends will have a more family-friendly vibe with “crafternoons” and private birthday parties. She said the stains they use are non-toxic and safe for everyone to use.

Located just down the street from Muse Paintbar, the Palace Theatre, Jupiter Hall, and Kelley-Stelling Contemporary, McKelligan said she is happy to be adding to the artistic vibe of Hanover Street.

McKelligan expects the first AR Workshop opportunities will be posted on her website,, in the next week so people can start registering for the project they would like to make.

Don’t you mean Regatta?

When the Manchester Central High School Crew team sent me a promotional flyer for the “Queen City Ice Breaker Ergatta” I responded with, “I think you spelled regatta wrong.”

But “ergatta” is what they wrote because “ergatta” is what they meant.

Turns out indoor rowing machines are known as “ergometers,” or “ergs” for short. These are the machines that participants in the 10th anniversary of this Central crew fundraiser will use to compete next Saturday, March 24.

The public is invited to join in this all-levels competition being held at Trinity High School, which will have about 24 ergs set up for the indoor races of varying distances.

Central Crew, a club sport, is hoping to raise several thousand dollars to help with boat maintenance, boat house rental, the coach’s stipend, and race entry fees. Some of the money raised will also help pay for students who cannot afford the $400 fee to participate in the club.

Event sponsors include KW Realty, Absolute Title, LLC, RMS Mortgage, Goldenrod, Bill Trombly Plumbing, BASC, Tupelo Music Hall and Granite State Fitness.

Doors open at 7 a.m. with the first heats starting at 8 a.m. The cost to participate is $15 for singles or $40 for teams of four. There will be prizes for winners and T-shirts for all.

Participants can register at the door or in advance at

Bring back Adam

The spirit of 1984 Manchester Central High School grad Adam Sandler will surely be felt at the school’s McAllaster Hall next weekend as the Maskers Drama Club presents “The Wedding Singer, The Musical” based on Sandler’s 1998 movie about a 1980s-era wedding singer who is jilted at the altar.

Avid Maskers supporter Claudette Knieriem said they’ve reached out to Sandler for his blessing.

“You never know if he’ll show, but we’re saving him a seat anyway,” she wrote to the Scene.

Performances will be Friday and Saturday, March 23 and 24, at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for general admission, and $5 for students, seniors, and veterans. This show is sponsored by Colleen M. Barbarita, CPA.

The Maskers Drama Club is the oldest student organization at Central, first performing in 1924. The Maskers present two full productions per school year, as well as putting on workshops and student showcases.

What should The Scene be talking about? Email your story ideas to Katie at

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