FYI Fans of Libby's Bistro and RMC

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peakbagger

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I heard from a reliable source that Libby's is officially going cease to exist and will be under new ownership as "The Bear" restaurant. Libby's had closed early in Covid and with the exception of catered events, never reopened but the owner had run Atlas Market with various specialties and take out. RMC will have one last fundraiser there July 28th (tickets are not on sale yet) No doubt if you are RMC fan, the tickets will fly off the shelves.

With the new Sports Bar opening up at the former Mr Pizza soon (my assumption is they are timing it with ATV season) and The Bear, there will be some new post hike dining in Gorham. To date the dining options in Berlin are slim to none with the exception of the locally popular new Mexican Restaurant across from the Berlin Ice Arena.
 
Libby’s on the main strip? Went there years ago and didn’t think it delivered good value given the cost vs what you got. Food was ok but expensive. But that was years ago.
 
It was definitely not a post hike calorie binge sort of place. They had an incredibly dedicated regional following, mostly summer residents that wanted a higher end cuisine and didn't mind the associated price tag. The closest competition was south of the notch or Bethel. Noona's on Exchange Street probably bit into their business later on, but I think Covid gave the owners a chance to get out of the kitchen and enjoy things. Liz was still doing catered events and classes.

There is still probably enough business in the area to support a similar restaurant but the major market in town is the ATV crowd and their tastes tend to be for national brand beer, big servings, sports bars and barbeque. The new brew pub's menu is definitely not catering to the ATV crowd.

It will be interesting to see how The Bear positions itself.
 
White Mountain Cider House is comparable but IMO meaningfully better, although not quite as good as it was under its prior ownership. Libby’s was high end in terms of price but I didn’t think delivered the value for what you paid. I have no problem paying high prices for high end food. But the value has got to be there. I was always surprised that Libby’s could source enough folks in the area to pay their prices. Admittedly, we only went a few times. At this point, I’d prefer to go to Big Day and if they stay consistent they should do well.
 
I just learned that the new restaurant located where Libby's was located is called The Vault. I took a quick look and could only find a trip advisor link. I will be there for the RMC private event (sold out) tomorrow which will be catered by Liz (the former owner of Libby's

Edit, well I blew that one, the new restaurant at Libby's is "The Bear" I met the owner at the RMC event and talked to him for bit. He is currently open for Brunch 9 to 2, 5 days a week. The hours are combination of a "soft open" and the inability to find staff. He hopes to expand the hours.

The Vault is also a new place located in the old Moriah Sports Building, which more recently was the site of Dermoody Road an art gallery/coffee shop. I was at the planning board meeting when the new owners came for a permit and their plan is cocktail bar serving "tapa" type food. It will be interesting to see if and how these places gain a clientele given the ATV enthusiasts flooding town.
 
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