Roger Masson is a self-described bacon fanatic. It’s not quite there yet, but he’d like to see his new Londonderry restaurant, The Bacon Barn, covered in bacon paraphernalia.
“When I’m done you should be tripping over bacon when you come in here,” Masson said. “I already built a diner, now I want to build a destination. I don’t want to build a place where people go to eat, I want to build a place where people come to eat.”
And that was why he decided to call the new eatery The Bacon Barn, since “the word bacon had its own following,” he said.
The Bacon Barn is located on Route 28 in Londonderry, in the building formerly occupied by the Route 28 Roadhouse. The license plates are gone, and in their place is a classic diner look with bright blue walls, but Masson knows there’s not enough bacon.
“We have probably about a 400-pound pig that will go on the roof. … We already got the OK that the roof is strong enough for it,” he said. Not to mention the bacon store he’s planning. “It’ll have all your bacon air fresheners, your bacon cologne — everything for the bacon fanatics that we are.”
The Bacon Barn currently serves breakfast and lunch daily until 2 p.m. Masson said many of his customers are coming from Allenstown, where he used to own Friends Diner. He’d been wanting to open a diner on Route 28 for years.
“I call [Friends Diner] my practice diner,” he said. “I’ve always dreamed of my diner being here, even when I opened my other one.”
The menu features comfort diner food like specialty omelets, waffles and pancakes and eggs benedict for breakfast. Cheeseburgers, club sandwiches, wraps, baskets plus haddock and steak plates are found on the lunch menu.
The most popular plate is the Po the Pig cake, a plate assembled with two pancakes, strawberry ears, banana eyes and a blueberry snout that resembles the face of a pig. Masson said that all the kids ask for it. The chili and cheese hashbrown casserole is also a popular plate that appears on the specials board, along with the bacon cheeseburger.
Eventually, five varieties of flavored bacon will be on the menu, Masson said. Right now, there’s a Kentucky bourbon bacon, and the next to be introduced will be jalapeno bacon and peppercorn bacon. Masson said that maple and hickory flavored bacons will be added later.
Masson has always been in the kitchen and is the cook at The Bacon Barn. He’s teaching his son how to cook, and his wife and kids are all involved in The Bacon Barn. Friends Diner staff are now working in Londonderry, too.
“That’s loyalty,” Masson said.
Masson started renting the property in June and continued to operate Friends Diner during the renovation. After a morning at Friends, he and his wife would stop by The Bacon Barn to lay down tile or paint the walls. Friends Diner closed in late September, and The Bacon Barn opened in October.
“I live in Londonderry, so I talked to the owner quite a bit when he was selling,” Masson said. “I was driving by one day, it was probably June of last year, and I see a ‘for rent’ sign.”
Masson has big plans for the bacon-ification of his new eatery, including having the siding painted like strips of bacon. In the meantime, The Bacon Barn has Po the Pig, its mascot, and plenty of bacon humor on its Facebook page.
As seen in the March 13, 2014 issue of the Hippo.