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New Tilton restaurant gets the go-ahead


June 02, 2010
TILTON — Arthur Buswell appeared before the Planning Board on May 25 seeking approval for plans to open Buzzy's Restaurant and Pub at 504 Laconia Road in East Tilton.

The property, owned by Leonard Birke, has a large two-story structure with a full porch and dirt parking lot. A restaurant would occupy the first floor, and the second floor would likely house pool tables. Buswell said he had started a similar business some years ago in Hudson, which he sold when "the time was right," and it is still in operation today. Now residing in the Lakes Region, Buswell said the time had come to open a new business and give him something to "get out of bed for" each day. Buzzy's Restaurant would be geared toward local residents, unlike the chain restaurants, which he said were more focused on visitors and tourists.

"I believe anybody can sell to anyone in the summer, but if you take care of the locals they'll come back. I'm doing this for the locals," Buswell said.

Prices would be set to accommodate the economic bracket of central New Hampshire. Charging $8 for a glass of wine as many establishments around Exit 20 do is ridiculous, Buswell said. His menu would offer food and drink year-round that residents could afford. Buzzy's Restaurant and Pub will have a sports memorabilia motif and employ approximately 12 people when it opens.

Board members asked if parking at the location would be adequate for the type of business Buswell had in mind. He said it would easily hold 30 cars and, with plans of seating for 35 people, offers more than enough room for a full capacity crowd. Birke added that 50 percent of the lot would be paved and there was plenty of room for snow removal at the back of the lot. Chairman Mike Curley asked Birke if he had a driveway permit for the site allowing for such a business. Birke said he would get an updated permit from the New Hampshire Department of Transportation.

Other questions from the board pertained to signage and outdoor lighting for the restaurant. Using photos provided to the members, Buswell said he would have a 4x12 foot sign hung on the façade of the building and a similar sign, 4x6 feet, along the road. A multi-sign frame provided by Birke will also allow room for more businesses should he expand his use.

The board asked that lighting be cast downward and not be intrusive on others properties. While sewer hook-ups are already in place, board members also asked that they be checked to be sure they were appropriate to handle a restaurant and that Buswell check into requirements for grease traps for the kitchen facilities.

When asked how soon the restaurant would open, Buswell said, "If you say yes tonight, I can be open in three weeks."

Board member Deana Cowan asked that he and Birke make the area aesthetically pleasing for people driving along Laconia Road (Route 3).

"I would suggest to you the same thing we told Walmart. Bring in greenery, plant a couple of trees, things like that. Keep that in mind," Cowan said.

Birke agreed and said he had already planted elm trees along the road but would do more to "green" the property.

Sandra Plessner made the motion to grant Buswell conditional approval for his business, providing he places on file proof that the sewer and grease trap requirements were met, the building passed the state fire code for such a business and an updated driveway permit was obtained. She also asked that he include a layout of landscaping plans.

Buswell said he would be satisfying those requirements as soon as possible.

"I'm going to get to work right away. The first motorcycles coming up here (for Motorcycle Week in Laconia) will be parking at Buzzy's," he said.

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