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More Than Just An Ice Cream Shop

By Jody Record, Campus Journal Editor
March 7, 2007

Okay, so the name’s a bit deceiving. And then there are the takeout windows that just scream ‘ice cream.’ But the little restaurant in the old Durham train station has more to offer than a scoop of black raspberry or chocolate chip on a sugar cone.

The UNH Dairy Bar is one of the three on-campus eateries run by the Thompson School’s restaurant management program. Boxed lunches are priced between $5 and $6.75 and that includes a side of something—fruit, potato salad, cole slaw or chips.

Breakfast sandwiches with bacon or sausage, or waffles and a coffee will run about $3.50. For a special meeting of 10 people or more, the place will put together a cooked-to-order meal with eggs and pancakes. Everything is made fresh right on the premises.

“We’re a pretty well-kept secret,” says manager Beverley Nemetz. “I’m amazed at the number of people who don’t know we’re here. Sometimes a senior will be taking the train to Boston and come in for the first time. It happened a lot during graduation last year.”

It seems many folks on campus think the Depot Road building is just for the Amtrak train that shuttles passengers between Portland and Boston. Yet the Dairy Bar has been serving up breakfast and lunch since 1965, starting five years after the B&M Railroad sold the building to the university for $1. The deed included the stipulation that the depot continue to accommodate railroad passengers.

Built in 1896 in Lynn, Mass., the rail station served that community until 1911 when it was painstakingly dismantled and transported to Durham, where, detail for detail, it was rebuilt. Trains still stopped there until the 1960s when rail service ended. It resumed again in 2001.

“We do get some riders from the train,” Nemetz says. “There are some people who think they can only eat here if they’re affiliated with UNH but we are open to the public.”

The restaurant seats 38 people and can accommodate the same number with its outdoor seating. And, with orders for seven or more, Nemetz will deliver anywhere on campus.

Menu items include sandwiches, burgers, club sandwiches, salads, fried fish, onion rings, mozzarella sticks and, of course, french fries, and soups and chili.

“At least one soup or the chili is vegetarian,” Nemetz says. “And we have a hummus wrap. We do try to think of the vegetarians.”

Grill service is offered throughout the year Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. From the Monday after Spring Break through Columbus Day, the window stays open for ice cream on Saturdays, noon to 6 p.m. During the summer (third week of June to Labor Day) the ice cream window is open from 4:30 to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, noon to 8 p.m.

For more information, go to http://www.unh.edu/dairy-bar/hours.html.

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