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November 17. 2013 9:41PM

Manchester's Goldenrod Drive-In to apply for state beer and wine license

MANCHESTER — The Goldenrod Drive-In Restaurant, a Candia Road fixture for more than 60 years, could soon start offering beer with its burgers, fried seafood and ice cream.

Co-owner Ron DiBurro said the restaurant has obtained a variance from the city Zoning Board that will allow it to apply for a state beer and wine license. He said he and his partner, Rich Webber, hope to have the license by late January or early February, after which they will place two taps likely serving Coors Light and Sam Adams beer.

“We’ve had a lot of people say that they would come more often if they could have a beer with their fried seafood,” DiBurro said.

DiBurro said the restaurant, famous in Manchester for its ice cream and comfort food, will not seek a liquor license and plans to restrict servings of beer to “one or two per person” to maintain its family-friendly atmosphere.

“We don’t want it to be a place where people come to hang out and drink,” he said.

The diner has been open since the early 1950s and DiBurro and Webber took over the business in 2003, he said.

During the warm months, he said, the restaurant ice cream does its share to attract customers and the business is profitable without beer, but the idea behind offering beer is to increase offerings to such people as winter league bowlers at the nearby Lakeside Lanes.

“We’re really just trying to build up our winter business,” he said.

He said the business will start with just the taps, so no cans or bottles. And even though the license would allow the Goldenrod to sell wine, he said, it likely will not be offered.

“We haven’t heard too many people say they really want wine with their burger,” he said. “We’re going to wait and see what the demand is for that. We can always add it.”

tbuckland@unionleader.com



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