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Manchester restaurateur faces sex charge

MANCHESTER — Restaurant and bar owner Neville Pereira, 57, has been charged with sexual assault and indecent exposure and lewdness in connection with an alleged incident at one of his businesses.

Pereira is accused of sexual assault and of exposing himself to an employee at Rouge Grill, 860 Elm St., on June 22. The police affidavit filed in support of arrest warrants says the alleged victim went to police June 27, telling police that three days after the initial incidents, Pereira took her aside and told her: "I'm going to have sex with you."

Pereira was arrested Aug. 20 on sexual assault and indecent exposure and lewdness charges and was released on $3,000 personal recognizance bail. He is scheduled for arraignment and trial Nov. 12 in Circuit Court-Manchester District Division.

Pereira, who also owns or co-owns a number of restaurants in Manchester and elsewhere in New Hampshire, closed Rouge in July. He and a partner opened a new restaurant, N'awlins, featuring Cajun and creole cuisine, Sept. 10 in the space at 860 Elm St., which until July housed the Rouge Grille, and before that "Z" restaurant and catering.

Pereira and his partner, Lui Vaine, opened Rouge last December, with a concept aimed at professional women, which Pereira's research had suggested was a large but under-served demographic in the local restaurant business.

Pereira has owned the Capital Grille in Concord since 2000 and with his partners operates three successful restaurants in Manchester — Ignite Bar and Grille and Hooked Seafood.

He and Vaine are also partners in Molly's Tavern and Restaurant in New Boston.

Their instincts about Rouge were wrong, Pereira admitted in an interview with the New Hampshire Union Leader last month.

"It was a metropolitan-style restaurant, and part of the problem was the lack of population density to support that," he said. "So we decided to shut it down and reinvent ourselves."


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