Valley News – Bottom Line: Ice cream stand, formerly Whippi Dip, receives warm welcome under new name, new management
A sure sign that the pandemic is receding and sunny days with blue skies and puffy clouds await, the Route 5 ice cream stand formerly known as the Whippi Dip reopened under new management.
Amanda Rae Hill, from Newbury, VT, rented the classic destination Fairlee from the owner Johnson Crystal, which had to close the Whippi Dip after its lease-purchase contract collapsed as the stand was about to open last summer.
Hill, who renamed the rest area Rae’s sweet and savory, opened on June 3, and it was so popular it quickly ran out of food before the weekend was over, according to posts on the restaurant’s Facebook page.
“More than grateful for all your support!” Hill posted on June 5. “However, the bad news is you’ve eaten all the food!”
Hill said she plans to take a few days off to prepare for regular hours starting June 10 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.
Sweet n ‘Salty Rae’s menu includes burgers, poutine, fish and chips, seafood – fried shrimp, scallops, clam strips, haddock – fries and coleslaw, street wraps and tacos, and , of course, soda floats, milkshakes and sundaes.
Hill was not available for comment.
Another Thai restaurant plans to open in the Upper Valley, making it the fifth in the Lebanon-Hanover area and the second whose owners have gone through the kitchens of Thai Pim Orchid.
New Thai cuisine, operated by the chef Ben woonbamroong, who worked for a few years at Pim’s Thai Orchid in Lebanon before claiming to be made redundant at the start of the pandemic. The new restaurant will be located a short walk from Pim’s at Hanover Plaza in the former space of Arch of Pierre bakery, which closed in 2017 after the state of New Hampshire denied the renewal of the coffee-bakery’s dining and room tax license.
Lebanon will soon have four Thai restaurants: Thai Cuisine Tuk Tuk, which is in Hanover, is renovating the old Dunkin ‘outlet on North Main Street in West Lebanon for a second location, and Bangkok Thai Food Express, which previously operated from a food truck at the Miracle Mile Plaza, moved last year into the former Ramunto’s pizza space adjacent to the Systems Plus computer store in Lebanon.
Woonbamroong, 48, said he is not worried that the Upper Valley has reached the peak of Thailand, noting that each of the restaurants have their own take on the cuisine (founder and chef Pranom Nisang also previously worked at Pim Thai’s Orchid when the restaurant was in Hanover).
“We all do things a little differently,” he said.
Woonbamroong hopes to open its restaurant later this summer.
If 20-year-old Benjamin Braddock in the 1967 film The graduation were to get unsolicited career advice today, instead of “just one word – plastic” he might hear a different word:
With the market for everything from battery-powered phones and gardening equipment to “smart homes” and cars set to grow exponentially in the years to come, a local battery store could become as ubiquitous as it is. ‘a quick change oil service bay. And like Jiffy Lube and XPress Lube, a lot of them will be franchises.
At least it is Will moore hope.
Moore, from Londonderry, NH, prepares to open the first Batteries and bulbs store in the old West Lebanon Post Office building on North Main Street.
Batteries Plus Bulbs “identified some markets that present good opportunities, and New Hampshire and Lebanon were the next step they had,” Moore said. “It seemed like proof that it was a good deal.”
The building has been vacant since it was briefly occupied by payday loan provider Title Cash before it closed over three years ago.
The pandemic has pushed back the planned opening for more than six months until early or mid-July, said Moore, who also secured a Batteries Plus Bulbs franchise in Burlington.
Moore, who has worked at a variety of businesses from retail to foodservice, said he’s watching the proliferation of Battery Plus Bulbs stores in New Hampshire and thinks he wants to be a part of it.
The Wisconsin-based retail chain now has 720 stores, including six locations in New Hampshire and the expansion in Vermont.
Contact John Lippman at [email protected]