Mill Falls and Common Man Team Up with NH to Create Innovative Rest Areas

Hookset groundbreakingOn October 24th, 2013, New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan helped break ground to kick off construction work on a major upgrade of the Hooksett Welcome Centers on Interstate 93. The new and improved rest areas will provide New Hampshire residents and visitors a wide range of services, including multiple dining options, an interactive visitors center, a NH Liquor & Wine Outlet store, a country store, a bank, and fueling stations.

“The Hooksett Welcome Centers project is an innovative public-private partnership that will help boost our economy and support our tourism industry by providing a high-quality welcome for all visitors to the Granite State,” Governor Hassan said. “With the project estimated to create 137 long-term jobs, the new Welcome Centers will help spur economic growth and offer a uniquely New Hampshire experience that showcases what makes our state special.” Continue reading

Mill Falls Team “Rafting for Wishes” to Benefit Make-A-Wish

raft-guysIn keeping with their mission and history of community service and philanthropy, the folks at Mill Falls at the Lake will be teaming up to help make wishes come true for children with life-threatening conditions. 21 Mill Falls associates have accepted the challenge of crewing a life raft for 44 hours, and are well on their way to reaching their fundraising goal for this event, happening for the first time on Lake Winnipesaukee this year.

Rafting for Wishes” will take place July 31st – August 2nd, 2013 in Meredith Bay, right near Town Docks and the Inn at Bay Point, where 10 teams will compete for prizes and bragging rights—for themselves as well as their Wish Buddies. Each team, including Mill Falls and The Common Man Family, will have at least one team member on the raft at all times during the 44-Hour Endurance Challenge. Each team is also aiming to raise a minimum of $100 to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation for every hour that they on the water. Continue reading

The Common Man Takes Diners on a Tour of Italy

Looking to escape the cold for a while? Take a trip someplace warmer this winter without travelling outside New Hampshire—the folks at Lago are offering a 20-week Tour of Italy that will spice up your life and bring you a taste of Europe in your own backyard!

Starting this week and going through the end of May, Chef Thomas Faba of Lago at Bay Point is showcasing a menu of three-course dinners that changes each week, highlighting dishes unique to one of the 20 regions of Italy. The special menu will also offer wines from each region to accompany the meal. The Tour of Italy dinners will be available Monday – Thursday for $24.95 per person, exclusive of tax and gratuity. Continue reading

NH’s Common Man Restaurants Help with Hurricane Sandy Relief Efforts

In keeping with a long tradition of community service, The Common Man Family of Restaurants has once again reached out to assist those in need—by offering direct help as well as raising funds through the generosity of its patrons—this time in the efforts to aid people and communities devastated by Hurricane Sandy last week.

Thousands are still without power in New York and New Jersey, and the recovery has been complicated by this week’s Nor’easter. However, as the relief effort continues, the folks at the Common Man have donated food to the Jersey Shore and are working hard to raise funds for the American Red Cross NH Chapter. The popular family of restaurants is running a program for customers who dine at any of their locations to be able to easily contribute to the relief funds. Continue reading

Annual Winnipesaukee Wine Festival Returns to Meredith

Don’t miss the feel-good event of the year—two fun nights of fabulous food, wine, and music on the shore of Lake Winnipesaukee that will showcase wines from around the world, along with fabulous food from local restaurants—all while raising funds for a local non-profit organization.

The Seventh Annual Winnipesaukee Wine Festival will take place on Thursday, June 21st from 5:30 – 8:00 p.m. in the Winnipesaukee Ballroom at Church Landing, where more than 100 domestic and international wines provided by over 20 vintners will be ready for sampling. To accompany these great wines, several local eateries will be preparing delicious hors d’oeuvres and appetizers. Guests can sample wonderful dishes from Lakehouse Grille, The Corner House Inn, Lavinia’s, Owen’s Farm Stand, Lago, Camp, and Town Docks.

The evening will also feature an ice bar with spirits and beer from Cisco Brewers of Nantucket. The Brewery will be offering samples of their Whale’s Tale Ale and Triple Eight Vodka, with the latter being freshly mixed into martinis that will be poured down an ice sculpture luge created by Jeff Day of Ice Designs. Continue reading

The Flying Monkey Brings World Class Performances to Plymouth NH

Nearly two years ago, The Flying Monkey Movie House & Performance Center opened its doors with a sold-out Legends of Rock N’ Blues show. Since then, the former Plymouth Theatre on Main Street in downtown Plymouth has built a steady following for its top-notch performances, as well as its great lineup of films, all of which take place in a unique setting.

The Plymouth Theatre was built in the 1920s and went through many changes over the years, eventually becoming a cinema with two screens dividing the once grand theater hall. It then stood empty for many years until Alex Ray, owner of the Common Man family of restaurants (which includes Lago, Lakehouse, and Camp here in Meredith), purchased and re-opened the building in December 2009, showing classic and first-run movies in the existing movie theaters. Continue reading

Common Man Family of Restaurants Celebrates 40 Years with Community Gifts

NH Governor John Lynch joins Common Man CEO Jason Lyon, Vice President Diane Downing, and owner Alex Ray in presenting a $40,000 birthday gift to the NH Food Bank's Director of Development Colleen Cowette.

After 40 years of growing from one small restaurant in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire to a well-known and flourishing hospitality business with over 20 locations throughout the state, The Common Man Family is celebrating its birthday by giving back, in a big way, to all the communities it is a part of.

The Common Man Family of Restaurants has always been a leader when it comes to charitable giving, but for its 40th birthday celebration yesterday, the “C-Man” group outdid itself with a $40,000 donation to the New Hampshire Food Bank in Manchester.  The gift comes at a good time, as the Food Bank is scrambling to get enough food together for the record number of requests it is receiving for Thanksgiving dinners.

Governor Lynch was on hand at the Food Bank celebration to recognize The Common Man family and its leadership in the area of charitable giving.  Representatives from the Common Man also announced plans for a month of festivities, including special promotions and a contest to “DO GOOD” in New Hampshire.

The DO GOOD program is a charitable raffle that will take place during the month of November at all Common Man family locations.  The company has paired each of its 21 establishments with a different New Hampshire non-profit organization, and at every location, customers can buy raffle tickets for $1 a piece for a chance to win a Common Man gift card of $197.10 (to signify the year the first Common Man restaurant opened, 1971).  At each location, a gift card will be awarded, and all proceeds raised will be donated to the partner charity.  In Meredith, Lago is paired with WLNH Children’s Auction, Lakehouse Grille is helping out the New Hampshire Food Bank, and CAMP is supporting the New Hampshire Region of American Red Cross.

According to the C-Man website, “While the Common Man family has grown in physical locations over the years, so too has it’s commitment to local communities by inspiring all of its STARS to live the mantra of “Doing Well by Doing Good.” Each location is charged with holding community fundraisers, and employees are given paid time off to volunteer with non-profit organizations that are important to them. Over the four decades of being a hospitality leader in New Hampshire, the Common Man family has donated hundreds of hours of sweat equity and thousands of dollars in sponsorships, food, and in-kind donations to local, national and international organizations working to make a difference.”

Help the Common Man family celebrate 40 years of success while at the same time helping a variety of NH not-for-profit organizations that give back to the community.  November is the perfect time to renew our commitment to our neighbors as we enjoy a great meal with family and friends!

Carrie Reed
The Mill Falls Blogging Team

photo courtesy of The Common Man Family of Restaurants

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Annual Winnipesaukee Wine Festival Returns to Church Landing for 6th Year

The Lakes Region is gearing up for one of the biggest parties of the season, with two fun nights of fabulous food, wine, and music on the shore of Lake Winnipesaukee that will showcase wines from around the world while raising funds for two local non-profit organizations.

The Sixth Annual Winnipesaukee Wine Festival will take place on Thursday, June 23rd from 5:30 – 8:00 p.m. in the Winnipesaukee Ballroom at Church Landing, where more than 100 domestic and international wines provided by over 20 vintners will be ready for sampling along with delicious hors d’oeuvres and appetizers.  These wonderful dishes will be prepared by several local eateries, including Lakehouse Grille, The Corner House Inn, The Coe House, Owen’s Farm Stand, Lago, and Camp.

The evening will also feature spirits and beer from local distilleries and breweries.  Peak Organic Brewing Company will be in the house, as well as Cisco Brewery of Nantucket, highlighting their Whale’s Tale Ale and Triple 8 martinis.  The freshly-mixed martinis will be served down an ice sculpture luge created by Jeff Day of Not So Plain Jane’s in Rumney and The Route 104 Diner in New Hampton.

Music for the event, which is hosted by The Common Man Family of Restaurants and The Martignetti Companies of New Hampshire, will be provided by the talented local jazz duo of Don Williams and David Tonkin, who play frequently throughout New Hampshire in various jazz ensembles and bands, and are also faculty members of the Concord Community Music School.

The Winnipesaukee Wine Fest 2010

Wine festival tickets are $50 per person, and all proceeds will benefit CHMM Community Caregivers and White Mountain Foster & Rescue.  Guests will enjoy the traditional raffle and live auction, and this year there are some great prizes up for grabs, including a seaside getaway in Nantucket, an overnight stay at Church Landing, and a getaway to an Adirondack-style cabin in Plymouth.  “It’s right next to our Italian Farmhouse,” says Diane Downing of the Common Man Family, who is organizing the festival.  “I did the décor on it…it is completely furnished in Adirondack style with a hot tub on the deck!”

The Inns and Spa at Mill Falls are helping out too, by extending a special rate just for the occasion.  With proof of your ticket purchase for the festival, a room at the Inn at Mill Falls is discounted from $169 to just $99.  You can wine and dine all night long and not worry about driving home!

The night before, on Wednesday, June 22nd, a pre-Wine Festival Beach Party will be held at the Common Man’s Town Docks outdoor tiki bar, with some featured wines, tapas-style dishes, and live music performed by recording artist Robbie LaBlanc accompanied by Sal Rametta, Tom Teegan, and Mark Descoteaux.  Robbie has played with many Rock & Roll bands, including Toto and The Rascals, and now plays alongside his brother in a couple of local groups, as well as this annual gathering of talent.  “They are amazing,” says Diane, “They just pull together for this event, but all are amazing musicians in their own right.”  Admission to this event is free and a portion of the proceeds will also benefit the two organizations.

Join the fun while helping a good cause at the Sixth Annual Winnipesaukee Wine Festival!  For more information, visit, or call 603-968-9330 to order tickets.  Space is limited and advanced tickets and reservations are strongly suggested.  For the special room rate at the Inns, please call 800-622-6455 and mention the Winnipesaukee Wine Festival.  Hope to see you there!

Carrie Reed
The Mill Falls Blogging Team

Image credit: dicktay2000 at

Join NH Police and Fire Heroes in a “Food Fight” to Benefit Battle of the Badges

CHaD Battle of the BadgesNew Hampshire’s police and fire heroes will soon be going head to head on the ice in a Battle of the Badges hockey game to benefit Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth (CHaD), and in preparation for the big day, they are planning a “food fight” as a fundraiser.

On Thursday, March 31st, The Common Man Family of restaurants, which operates 18 restaurants in New Hampshire, including Lakehouse Grille, Lago, Camp, and Town Docks here in Meredith, will host the food fight at two of its locations.  Foster’s Boiler Room in Plymouth will represent the police team.  During lunch hours, guests can mention they are dining to participate in the fundraiser and 50% of the proceeds from their meals will go to the Battle of the Badges police team.  Folks who wish to support the fire heroes can enjoy lunch at The Common Man in Merrimack under the same arrangement.  Just mention the cause and 50% will go to the fire team!

The Common Man family is pleased to back up the ultimate recipients—the children and families of CHaD.  “We were approached by both police and fire players seeking support for their teams,” said Jason Lyon, CEO of The Common Man family.  “We thought this was a unique way to spur the friendly competition while getting our guests involved in supporting the teams and the great work that CHaD does on behalf of children and families during difficult times.”

Elizabeth Clarke, Event Coordinator of the CHaD Battle of the Badges, shared the sentiment.  “We are excited to have The Common Man family join ours,” she said.  “Their company’s mantra is easily shared by our Badges – ‘Doing Well by Doing Good’ – working together to support New Hampshire’s only Children’s Hospital and the vulnerable population it serves.”

The Battle of the Badges hockey game will take place on Saturday, April 9th at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester.  This is the fourth annual meeting of the teams, and all proceeds will benefit CHaD.  For more information, visit or call (603) 650-3437.  Hope to see you at one of the events!

Carrie Reed
The Mill Falls Blogging Team

The New England Pond Hockey Classic Returns to Meredith

PHC_NE_colorThe second annual New England Pond Hockey Classic is about to take over Meredith Bay, and this year the tournament will be even bigger and better!  The organization’s first ever event last year was so successful, it’s grown to accommodate over twice as many teams and rinks out on the frozen waters of Lake Winnipesaukee, as well as a couple of new tournaments in New England.

The response we had last year was amazing,” says PHC director Scott Crowder.  “That our first year went as well as it did was pretty great on our end.  So we obviously wanted to bring it back and we actually expanded it, so we have two more tournaments this year, one on Lake Champlain in Colchester VT and one with the Manchester Monarchs in Manchester.  The tournament here in Meredith is going to have over 160 teams, and we’ll have 15 to 16 rinks out on the lake, so that’s close to 1000 participants.”

As a new feature this year, the player locker room tents will be out on the ice so the athletes can skate in and skate out.  Another fun addition will be the beer garden that The Common Man is doing right in front of Lago.  “We’re doing a little Fan Zone with some hockey skills competition, and things like that,” says Crowder.  “It’s really turning into more of a carnival!  We’re going to have the ReMax hot air balloon giving rides, we’ll do helicopter rides again, which is what we did last year, the Greater Meredith Program is doing a chili cook-off on Saturday afternoon… to have something that’s a nice outdoor activity that people can enjoy in the middle of winter is a nice treat.”pond hockey in Meredith

Last February, 77 teams from throughout the region competed over a three day weekend on Lake Winnipesaukee.  The event brought many athletes and fans to Meredith and earned PHC the 2010 Lakes Region Association Tourism Award.  “We’ve had a great response from local businesses this year,” says Crowder.  “We have a lot of local sponsors on board, and you can find them all on our website.  To have the support of the local businesses is great.”

The official outfitter and sponsor of this year’s event is Earthtec, a Portsmouth, NH based company that makes eco-friendly apparel.  Says Crowder, “They’re absolutely amazing.  The CEO of Earthtec actually played in the tournament last year… they’re our official apparel for all of our events.  They make all of their stuff out of recycled materials or organic cotton and wool, so their products are top-notch, top of the line.”  All tournament participants will have the opportunity to buy official merchandise provided by Earthtec, and each participant will receive a free Earthtec Pond Hockey Classic winter hat.

With Earthtec, PHC is launching Pond Hockey Classic Green, “to do our part to curb our environmental impact,” says Crowder.  “If this Earth keeps heating up we’re not going to have any ice to do these tournaments on.”  PHC is also partnering with Athletes for a Fit Planet, a company that greens events by working with organizers to reduce their event’s environmental footprint with consulting services and sustainability practices, such as the opportunity for all PHC participants to buy carbon offsets to counteract their travel to and from the event.  All registration is taking place online, so there are no paper forms to mail, store, and dispose of later.

Pond hockey athletes are also encouraged to bring their previously used equipment to donate to Restore Hockey, the tournament’s official non-profit partner.  Restore Hockey recycles the equipment and donates it back to children who don’t have the ability to play the sport due to the financial burden.

Crowder hopes that after the big weekend, local folks will continue to use and enjoy some of the rinks that they are creating.  “That’s what happened last year, which was great.  I drove by a couple weeks after and I had never seen kids skating out there, and all of a sudden there were families out there on Saturday and Sunday afternoon that were using the rinks because we made them, so hopefully this event can urge people to play some hockey in the Lakes Region, because I don’t think it’s as big a sport as it really could be.”

The 2nd Annual Pond Hockey Classic Tournament will take place February 4th through 6th, 2011, in Meredith, NH.  For those who can’t make it to see all the excitement in person, the event will be broadcast on the official website,, where viewers can watch live streaming action as well as replays of past games.  Mark your calendars, and don’t forget to check in!

Carrie Reed
The Mill Falls Blogging Team

Images courtesy of Pond Hockey Classic