The Hippo


Jun 2, 2020








Inside Gale Motor Co. Eatery. Allie Ginwala photo.

Gale Motor Co. Eatery

Visit Gale Motor Co. Eatery (36 Lowell St., Manchester, 252-7059, find them on Facebook), open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday and lunch Monday through Friday (lunch service starts mid-April).

Small plates, many options
New restaurant opens on Lowell Street

By Allie Ginwala

 Paying tribute to the history of the building at 36 Lowell St., Gale Motor Co. Eatery chef and owner David Spagnuolo said the name was inspired by the car dealership located in the Manchester building in 1927.

“As we researched we saw Gale Motor Co. and [said], ‘Wow that’s actually pretty cool,’” Spagnuolo said. “We can bring some history back to the building and use that name.”
Opening its doors on Thursday, April 7, the new eatery features a “culinary fusion” menu, complete with craft cocktails and small plates from an array of cuisines.
“I don’t want to be Italian, and I don’t want to be French and I don’t want to have just one cuisine that I can cook,” he said. “We’re going to do everything from spicy tuna tartare on crispy rice to a pulled pork taco to … meatball sliders. I just want to be able to do outside-of-the-box stuff.” 
The serving concept is tapas — small plates and shareables — rather than one larger entree.
“I think that a lot of people … want to taste different things. They don’t want to just sit down and have one meal,” he said. “I think that being able to have something from Spain and something from Japan and something from America, I think that it’s a very up and coming trend.”
Before moving to Londonderry last October, Spagnuolo worked at his girlfriend (and now Gale Motor Co. Eatery business partner) Stacey Murphy’s restaurant Pi Brick Oven Trattoria in Woodstock, Vermont. That’s where he first saw the great reception of a small plates menu, when they opened a side section of the mainly pizza restaurant.
“We were trying to serve them just in the bar, but people loved them,” he said. “We ended up having to serve them throughout the whole restaurant.”
Though other restaurants in the area have taken to small plate meals, Spagnuolo thinks it’s still a bit of a foreign concept to certain diners who might be in the mode of ordering four plates for four people. 
“I think it’s definitely going to need some explaining to make sure people understand that … some of them are one bite, some of them are able to share with two people, not four people,” he said. “We’re trying to keep the prices down so that if you order three or four things it’s not going to be $40; it’s going to be the same price as getting an entree.”
Just under two weeks before opening day, Spagnuolo and Murphy were putting on the eatery’s finishing touches with hints of the building’s automotive history displayed throughout the dining area, like framed 1925 license plates, a ladder-turned-glass rack hanging above the bar and an illuminated “Gale Motor Co.” hanging on the back wall with a Model T Ford wheel as one of the o’s.
The turnaround for getting Gale Motor Co. up and running was rather quick — they signed the lease on March 5 and got to work immediately. With the help of Spagnuolo’s father and Murphy’s family, they cleaned, painted and flipped the space in order to open the doors and get the kinks worked out before the warmer weather foot traffic began.
Spagnuolo knows the history of the spot that has changed hands a number of times since it was home to Richard’s Bistro.
“What really sits in my mind is Richard’s Bistro … so there is longevity in this location — it just has to be done right,” he said. “There has to be a love behind it.”
Coming into a restaurant-saturated part of Manchester, Spagnuolo hopes Gale Motor Co. Eatery will hold its own, as another option for folks who frequently dine downtown.
“There [are] a lot of really good restaurants … [and there are] some great chefs around here, and I’m hoping to fit in,” he said. “I think that we’re going to try to be balanced and have a variety of stuff so people aren’t going to come to the same place twice a week, three times a week. If people are out to eat they’ll come here, they’ll go to Mint, they’ll go to Republic. You can get a different taste coming here.” 

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