The Hippo


Aug 23, 2019








Riverside Barbeque Company owner and chief pitmaster Dave Manganello stands behind the restaurant’s new full-service bar. Photo by Angie Sykeny.

Riverside Barbeque Company 

Address: 53 Main St., Nashua 
Hours: Sunday and Monday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Tuesday and Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Thursday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. 
Contact: 204-5110,

Breakthrough barbecue
Riverside Barbeque adds full bar, new menus

By Angie Sykeny

 A Nashua downtown restaurant is proving that barbecue isn’t just for festivals, food trucks and counter service lunch joints — it also makes a great dinner and nightlife cuisine. 

Since last spring, Riverside Barbeque Company has been undergoing renovations for a fresh concept with three times more dining space, a full-service bar and a revised and broadened menu. The process has taken longer than expected — it was initially set to be finished by July or August — but the first of the highly anticipated upgrades including the bar and a new to-go menu launched last week, and the expanded dining space is projected to open no later than the Monday before Thanksgiving. 
Owner and chief pitmaster Dave Manganello said he originally wanted to debut the revamped restaurant in its completion with a grand reopening but later decided to stagger out the changes for a smoother transition that wouldn’t detract from the new bar. 
“We’d be open on a Friday night, watching a packed house [at restaurants] across the street and wondering what they’re doing that we aren’t,” he said. “We could have the same beers for cheaper, but when people go out to drink, they go to a bar, not a counter service restaurant with just beer and wine. … So that’s what we want people to know about the most, that we have a full liquor bar now.” 
The new to-go menu features favorites like pulled pork, sliced brisket and Memphis ribs, as well as some of the most popular specials from the last few years and classic sandwiches with a barbecue twist, like a cheesesteak made with burnt end brisket instead of beefsteak, and a reuben made with smoked brisket instead of corned beef and barbecue Thousand Island dressing instead of Russian. 
“It gives people another opportunity to try our smoked meats in a vehicle that may be more familiar or enticing,” Manganello said. “Many people think barbecue is just burgers and dogs, and if you already have that preconceived notion and aren’t interested, you aren’t going to [come in the restaurant], so we’d love for people to know that we have more than that.” 
On Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays starting this week, Riverside also offers a late-night menu with food available until 1 a.m. Once the expanded dining space opens, they’ll introduce a dine-in menu with sit-down appetizers and dinner dishes and southern-style cuisine like shrimp and grits, seafood boils and fried chicken plates, plus a dessert menu. 
The revamp is in a “soft opening” phase right now and customer feedback will help determine what food and drinks will become permanent items on the menu. 
To add to its appeal as a nightlife destination, Riverside is also building a stage for live music that’s projected to be up and running by January, and an outdoor deck with construction starting in the spring. 
Manganello said that between the updated amenities and the popularity of barbecue cuisine in general, he’s optimistic about the future of the new and improved Riverside. 
“Barbecue is one of the fastest-growing [food trends] right now, and I can’t think of one type of food that has the same vehement following that barbecue has,” he said. “By this time next year, mark my words, we’re going to be one of the powerhouses of town … but for right now, we begin the task of earning our business and earning that powerhouse position.”  

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