The Hippo


Jul 21, 2019








Left, Tony Chapman, corporate general manager of the Hanover Street Chophouse, with General Manager Kiel Carroccino. Photo by Matt Ingersoll.

The Crown Tavern

Where: 99 Hanover St., Manchester
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 4 to 9:30 p.m.
Visit: or call 218-3132

From theater to tavern
Hanover Street Chophouse owners open low-key eatery

By Matt Ingersoll

 Though it’s under the same ownership and management as the Hanover Street Chophouse, The Crown Tavern — which opened its doors for dinner less than a block away on Aug. 28 — is offering a completely new menu of appetizers, wood-fired pizza, beer and wine, desserts and more. 

The new restaurant is located directly across the street from the Palace Theatre and borrows its name from The Crown Theater, a popular movie theater during the early half of the 20th century. According to Hanover Street Chophouse corporate general manager Tony Chapman, he, owner Steven Clutter and Executive Chef Stuart Cameron started talking about opening a second restaurant about two and a half years ago to directly juxtapose the food and atmosphere of its predecessor.
“The vision was to create an environment and a restaurant with energy that we would want to go on our days off, just to come to a casual place that we enjoy to eat and have a drink in,” he said. “Obviously we make big steaks and rich food and shellfish and things like that [at the Hanover Street Chophouse]. … But some days you just want a pizza, or a nice burger or piece of chicken with a draft beer or a glass of wine. So it just kind of hits the palate of a more tavern-style, local restaurant instead of rich, big food.”
Chapman said every menu item at The Crown Tavern is new and not available at the Hanover Street Chophouse. 
“We’re a very appetizer-driven place,” Crown Tavern General Manager Kiel Carroccino said. “We’ve got chicken wings that are roasted, not fried, so you don’t have all of that buttered and fried gooeyness going on … and we also do a sampler with beer-battered onion rings.”
Other appetizer options include oysters with cocktail sauce, a jumbo shrimp with ginger dip, beef meatballs with cheddar-ale fondue sauce, and a pork belly with fried green tomatoes and a ginger tomato jam. A few soups and salads are also featured, like the corn chowder, which is made with potato and thyme, and the kale il corvo, a salad made with chopped kale, Parmesan cheese, lemon, garlic, sunflower seeds and extra virgin olive oil.
For main entrees, Chapman said the pizzas stand out, which are cooked in a handmade wood-fired oven. Try a traditional cheese pizza with aged mozzarella, ricotta, fontina and pecorino cheeses, the Pesto Pie pizza, cooked with roasted tomatoes, ricotta and mozzarella cheeses, corn, arugula and basil pesto, or the Local Farm pizza, prepared with sausage, pork belly, potatoes, eggs, and cheddar and Parmesan cheese. Vegan cheeses are also available to order on all pizzas.
Other entrees include burgers, roasted chicken, pasta carbonara, cedar plank salmon, gnocchi and mushrooms and several others. Additionally, Chapman said several “Blue Plate Specials” will be featured throughout the week.
“It will actually come on a … plate with a blue lining, and it will be a certain dish each day Monday through Saturday, where you get an entree and a side dish,” he said. “It’s different every day, so if you want bacon-wrapped meatloaf, for example, you’ll have to come on Monday, or if you want rigatoni and meatballs, you have to come on Saturday.”
Carroccino said eight craft cocktails are featured on the menu.
“We do really simple and executable, but still really neat kinds of flavors,” he said. “We have a house-made limoncello that’s mixed with vanilla and egg whites, so it kind of makes this really nice frothy taste, almost like a lemon meringue pie … and we’ve also got one with a homemade plum juice, maple syrup, vanilla and sugar. … So it’s original stuff that you’re hopefully not seeing everyone else do that at the same time doesn’t take the bartenders four hours to make.”
A variety of wines and beers will be available on tap, several of which come from breweries in the Granite State, like Able Ebenezer Brewing Co. in Merrimack, and Henniker Brewing Co.
The five dessert menu items are all prepared in-house by a staff pastry chef, Carroccino said. There’s lemon pound cake made with peaches and mascarpone cheese, a dark chocolate brownie sundae with vanilla ice cream, caramel sauce and whipped cream, a berry plate with zabaglione sauce, a dark Belgian chocolate mousse with Kentucky bourbon and an espresso bean cookie, and vanilla and chocolate ice cream profiteroles. As an alternative to ice cream, a seasonal local sorbet is also an option.
For months, crews from the Hudson-based Northpoint Construction have been hard at work on redesigning the restaurant’s interior ahead of its opening. The new restaurant seats about 90 in the indoor dining area and 20 at the bar, as well as 50 to 75 additional outdoor seats on the patio.
So far, The Crown Tavern has a received an enthusiastic response, according to Chapman, and has attracted a wide variety of audiences.
“We’re trying to bring that attitude of cities like Boston and Chicago into Manchester and to introduce something that is local and a bit more nuanced,” Carroccino said. “I think downtown Manchester is blossoming … and we would love to help this street and this area become a destination for people … to have something to come to the city for and have a really great dinner.” 

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