Jackson, New Hampshire – A short three years after being shuttered, the beloved Thompson House Eatery is poised to reopen to guests in the winter of 2017. T.H.E, as it is fondly known, closed in 2013 after 37 years of serving Jackson diners. New chef/owner Jeffrey Fournier and his wife Kate recently sealed a deal with longtime T.H.E. owners Larry Baima to reopen the Mount Washington Valley icon and start anew. A member of the Boston University culinary faculty, Fournier’s star rose rapidly as he worked his way up through a number of famed Boston area establishments including Locke Ober, Excelsior, and the Metropolitan Club. Starting in 2007, he opened his first independent restaurant, the acclaimed 51 Lincoln, in Newton, MA. Following its success he opened a second restaurant in Newton, Waban Kitchen in 2013. After 10 years of running his restaurants, Fournier looked for a way to balance his love for the hospitality industry and quality of life with his wife, Kate, and their two young sons.
The Fournier’s found their dream project in the community that Kate grew up and still has strong family ties. Closing both of their restaurants and able to quickly sell their Newton home, the Fournier family knew that Jackson was the ideal place to put down deep and enduring roots. Kate’s parents live in North Conway so in many ways this is a welcome homecoming for her and their two children ages 1-1/2 and 3-1/2. Knowing right away that the Thompson House was the perfect vehicle to both highlight Jeff’s broad talents as a chef while honoring the important role that Baima’s restaurant had long played in the Mount Washington Valley community. For a couple of years they thought hard about how to bring it back to life. When asked why they chose the Thompson House, Fournier replied, “For almost four decades Larry Baima and his loyal staff created, and then gradually refashioned, a remarkable dining experience on the loop in Jackson that year after year drew raves from locals and visitors alike. I hope to build on the best of what Larry created and add my own love of cooking to what will ultimately be both a creative, and familiar, mix.”
Plans are also underway to expand the farm and farm stand opportunities as well as to restore the 1876 barn for yet to be imagined possibilities such as rehearsal dinners, weddings, art gallery and event space. The first order of business, however, is to get the doors open even as winter arrives in full measure, drawing hungry visitors to the valley. Leslie Baima, Larry’s wife and long time manager of the Eatery, will once again greet guests and manage the dining room and lounge. Likely many other familiar faces will be found among both guests and staff as the Fourniers gear up for their planned late winter opening. “With so much to do to breathe new life into the restaurant after three years of dormancy,” says Fournier, “I look forward to many opportunities to get to know old and new guests and the people of Jackson in the short weeks between now and then.”
Initially planning on serving dinner from Wednesday through Sunday nights, as well as offering a full bar, the interior of the Thompson House Eatery will look delightfully familiar to anyone who remembers the crackling fire, the cozy bar, or the bountiful lilacs beyond the porch each spring. For more information about the Fourniers or the Thompson House Eatery, please email email@example.com.