ROCHESTER - A new restaurant in The Ridge is joining the list of Rochester eateries offering outdoor dining and takeout options for customers during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Pepper's Landing opened its 135 Marketplace Blvd. location Monday, offering fresh seafood sourced from local fishermen and harvesters. Owners Ian Miller and Morey Highbarger, both of whom have been in the restaurant and hospitality industry for more than 20 years, strive to provide fresh, local and sustainable food options in the City of Rochester.
The creation of Pepper's Landing originated from the boat landing, Pepper's Landing, in Old Town, Maine. The boat landing was named after Highbarger's grandfather, Pepper Martin, who was a guide in Maine for 60 years. Martin grew up in the Old Town area, thriving on the land and waters, fishing and all outdoor activities.
To commemorate the memory of his grandfather, Highbarger and Miller named the restaurant in his honor. The first Pepper's Landing location in Brunswick, Maine, was first opened in 2019 before the business was expanded into New Hampshire.
"We are so excited to open Pepper's Landing, a restaurant dedicated to my grandfather, Pepper, a trailblazer who loved the outdoors," said Owner Morey Highbarger. "He was a craftsman, hunter, fisherman, brewer and water skiing legend among other talents. He would feel right at home in the Rochester community. We look forward to sharing our family tradition of bringing the freshest Maine seafood to your families. We look forward to seeing you soon!"
The restaurant is currently open for outdoor dining and takeout only due to COVID-19 restrictions. The current hours are Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. The hours are subject to change as necessary.
The menu can be found on the restaurant's website or Facebook page, and all orders can be placed by calling 603-403-8016.
The menu ranges from creative appetizers such as a smoked bluefish platter, steamer clams, firecracker shrimp, six different lobster roll options and more. Specialty and traditional entrees include baked haddock, lobster mac and cheese, sweet and sour shrimp and haddock, seafood pasta and haddock or salmon tacos, to name a few.
Additionally, customers may order prepackaged, fresh seafood to be shipped to their homes. Packages typically arrive within three days after an order has been placed. Deliveries are made Tuesday through Friday only.
"We are delighted to welcome family owned, fresh seafood restaurant, Pepper's Landing, to The Ridge," said Josh Levy, Principal, Waterstone Properties Group, Inc. "With their uncompromising quality standards for sourcing seafood and shellfish, coupled with their easygoing, family-oriented playful pastimes like corn hole and a socially distanced deck fire pit, Pepper's Landing offers an amazing dining experience for Rochester and the surrounding community."
On Friday Gov. Sununu announced that all restaurants in the state, beginning June 15, can begin serving customers indoors once again. This order comes after Gov. Sununu announced on May 1 that restaurants would be allowed to offer outdoor dining as part of the state's phased reopening.
Once indoor seating opens on June 15, Pepper's Landing's operational hours will be Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
"We are very excited to welcome a new restaurant to our city," said City Manager Blaine Cox. "During these unprecedented times it's nice to have the opportunity to branch out and try a new local restaurant."
Jordan Mayblum writes stories for the City of Rochester.