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'Panera on steroids'

New cafe 'bringing the city to the country' in Epping

Union Leader Correspondent

August 29. 2013 10:09PM

Chefs Ashley Lavoie and Alex McMorran work in the kitchen as they prepare for Friday’s opening of the new Popovers at Brickyard Square in Epping. (JASON SCHREIBER/Union Leader Correspondent)

EPPING — Popovers at Brickyard Square owner John Tinios calls his place “Panera on steroids.”

The new café and French pastry shop opening Friday in the Brickyard Square shopping plaza will bring a European concept to the area with pastries, desserts, coffees, fine wines, sandwiches, soups and salads in a casual, yet elegant, atmosphere.

“We’re bringing the city to the country,” Tinios said Thursday as he and others on the staff prepared to open the doors at 7 a.m. today.

The new location comes eight years after the first Popovers café opened in downtown Portsmouth.

While fans of the original Popovers will recognize the pastries and other food served up at the new Epping location, the menu has been expanded and other design elements added to the café that didn’t work in Portsmouth due to that location’s smaller size.

The new 3,200-square-foot Popovers is larger, and unlike the Portsmouth café, offers a full bar.

Tinios, who owns Popovers with master baker Steve James, said Epping was chosen for the second Popovers because of its location. It’s about halfway between the Seacoast and Manchester and sits at the intersection of two major highways — Route 101 traveling east and west and Route 125 for traffic heading north and south.

Tinios said he had also heard that Epping was a business-friendly town.

“We really like the people here we were dealing with,” he said.

The new café will employ 30 to 50 workers depending on the season.

In addition to its indoor seating, Popovers will offer outdoor seating for about 50 patrons.

Tinios said Popovers also plans to partner with the new O’neil Cinemas on some deals for patrons. Tinios, who also owns the Galley Hatch restaurant in Hampton, once operated Hampton Cinemas next to the Galley Hatch before it closed and was demolished.

For café hours, a menu, and other information, visit

Business Epping Photo Feature

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