NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

May 16, 2013

A family affair

Haverhill brothers prepare to reopen Stripers

SALISBURY — It’s taken longer than hoped for the sale to be completed, but Stripers Grille & Inn finally has new owners: Steve, George and Niki Haginicolas, of Haverhill.

The longtime restaurateurs, who own and operate Haverhill’s popular Roma restaurant, have been poised to purchase Stripers since early March, when former owner, Steve Kuchar, announced its pending sale at a Salisbury Liquor Commission meeting.

Kuchar, who had owned the riverside restaurant and inn with his wife, Lisa Reinhold, for 16 years, told the commission he felt that it was time to leave the business. The restaurant had been closed since February.

Steve Haginicolas appeared at the Salisbury Board of Selectmen’s Monday meeting, confirming the sale and to gain approval for his common victualer and entertainment licenses. He got the nod on both, but not before he satisfied the selectmen’s curiosity about his plans for the town’s only inn and restaurant on the shores of the Merrimack River.

Stripers menu will be seafood, Haginicolas said, not the Italian or Greek cuisine served at Roma, the 440-seat restaurant the family purchased in 2000. His family will continue to run that restaurant, as well.

“I’m leaving Roma’s and will come to Stripers full time,” Steven Haginicolas said. “I’m a hands-on owner, and I’ll be there morning and night. My brother will go back and forth between the two restaurants, and my mother will remain at Roma’s. My mother (Niki) is a hands-on cook; I can’t keep her out of the kitchen.”

Repairs and physical improvements are still ongoing, Haginicolas said. The restaurant has been painted and new hardwood floors have been installed. Haginicolas said he hopes to open as soon the restaurant’s liquor license is legally transferred to him. That may not happen until after Memorial Day, he said.

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