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Sunny Villa Restaurant reopens in Ossipee

SUNNY VILLA RESTAURANT has literally risen up from the ashes recently. After a fire last year destroyed Kranky Franky’s restaurant and a newly opened gym at the site, restaurateurs Jill and Frank Bumbaca and son, Tim Carnes, decided to go for it and reestablish Sunny Villa Restaurant as the destination spot it once was. The restaurant, located on Route 16 in Ossipee, is now open daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Stop by for the food and the views. Pictured above are (l-r) Tim Carnes, Jill and Frank Bumbaca, in front of a custom-made 50-foot long mahogany bar. - Photo by Larissa Mulkern - Staff (click for larger version)
April 15, 2010
OSSIPEE — Ever since a fire destroyed the spacious building that housed the Kranky Franky's restaurant and a brand new gym on Route 16, passers-by have seen slow but sure renovations at the site that boasts million dollar views of mountains and valleys beyond.

All the reconstruction and craftsmanship paid off last month, when just this past St. Patrick's Day, restaurateurs Tim Carnes and his parents Jill and Frank Bumbaca reopened Sunny Villa Restaurant. Without much notice or fanfare, the restaurant posted an "Open" sign and welcomed dozens of customers that day. And the owners hope the clientele will continue to come to the restaurant through this usually slow shoulder season between spring and the unofficial start of summer on Memorial Day weekend.

"Everyone was rooting for us," said Carnes, who did much of the renovation work himself. Carnes, who used to cook at the Hilltop Steak House in Saugus, Mass., is the chief cook. Locals may also recall that the Bumbaca's were the original owners of the Cuckoo's Nest in East Wakefield a number of years back.

"We've got 1,200 'friends' on Facebook," he added. He gives credit for the fire departments that saved the building from total devastation, and to the strangers who would stop by at night with coffee as Carnes and Frank rebuilt the restaurant at all hours of the day and night, rain or shine.

Carnes adds that the restaurant's success will largely depend upon word of mouth and local resident support needed to survive to the height of the summer tourist season. "If people like us, we need them to tell others," he adds. The restaurant employs 25 people from the community, many of whom worked at the location at one time or another, added Jill Bumbaca. "There's a lot of memories here," she said. More than 140 applicants competed for the various server and kitchen positions.

For many decades, the restaurant was known as a destination spot, as well as a popular eating and watering hole for travelers coming up from the south to the White Mountains, according to local lore. Carnes notes that bay in its hay day, the Villa hosted the Fireman's Balls and that the state House of Representatives held meetings there. "There is a lot of history here," he said. Customers can view some of the history in old menus, photos and postcard displayed in shadowboxes in the restaurant's foyer.

The refurbished building features a stylish interior with dark wood tables and chairs, a 50-foot mahogany bar, faux painted walls and woodwork by Shannon Merrill, and a full menu of comfort food and American cuisine.

What's to eat? The varied menu includes soups, salads, pizzas, appetizers, burgers and sandwiches, as well as steak, chicken and pork chop dinners. Chef's specialties include vegetarian and fish dishes as well. Prices range from $4 for a cup of chili to $20 for a 20-ounce New York Sirloin dinner. There is a full bar where customers can watch sporting events or soap operas on the new flat screen televisions.

Eventually, the owners would like to complete renovations to the as-yet unfinished function rooms on one side of the 12,000 square foot building. That space could be used for weddings and large meetings.

Mostly, the owners are grateful for the support and encouragement. "Everyone has made us feel so welcome here," said Carnes.

The newly constructed Web site is www.sunnyvillanh.com. The restaurant is located at 1020 Route 16 in Ossipee. Call the restaurant at 539-5379 for more information. Hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., daily.

Martin Lord Osman
Varney Smith
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