Monday, November 26, 2012

Peddler's Daughter Wraps Up Nashua

The Peddler's Daughter
During the early colonial days and well into the 19th century, the Nashua River was a hotbed of activity for trade for Boston and Concord and a microcosm of manufacturing, especially textiles and paper mills that tapped regional timber supplies. There were tradeoffs, however. Paper dyes and other pollution had all but destroyed the river over hundreds of years.

It wouldn't change again until the 1960s. Marion Stoddart, a housewife and mother of three, took on the impossible task of cleaning it up. And today, thanks to Stoddart and her founding of the Nashua River Watershed Association, the river is clean and largely restored. Most visitors would never know it, looking up or down the river from the Main Street Bridge in Nashua or out the windows of the Peddler's Daughter, an Irish Pub and Restaurant.

The Peddler's Daughter pours pints alongside paper-wrapped fish and chips.

Although the exterior and interior of the pub and restaurant carry the industrial feel of an old paper mill, it was a custom renovation almost ten years ago. The previous tenant was actually a bike shop, but no one would ever guess it by looking up at the high ceilings or down at the well-scuffed floors. The pub feels like it has always been there, overlooking the river.

The original idea was to give it an authentic feel, something not too far removed from what you might expect from a pub in Ireland. Much of the decor was imported, even some benches and chairs.

Things To Do Nashua
The primary reason to give it a visit anytime you're near Nashua is two-fold. They have one of the best Guinness pours outside of Boston. The difference between an average glass and a great Guinness is all in the pour. They take the time to pour it right, or at least as close as you can get in America.

The second reason is the fish and chips, with perfectly beer-battered fish served atop the chips (thick house-cut potato wedges or sweet potato fries). The ketchup is something to admire too. It's homemade and never lasts long enough to live in a bottle.

There are plenty of options on the menu too, most of it brushing up somewhere between pub and Irish restaurant. Among the most notable are the corned beef sandwiches; fried haddock on a sourdough roll; and Guinness braised beef stew, made with short ribs and served with mashed potatoes. While none of it can be necessarily considered "fine dining," it's hard to beat among pub dining.

Peddler's Daughter supports the indie rock scene every weekend. 

Although some people might be put off that the pub and the dining area set in a wide open shared space with its busiest nights Wednesdays through Saturday, some of its well-earned urgency comes from supporting indie bands. Sure, most of the recent acts smack of nostalgic Top 40 cover bands, but they have been known to book a few Celtic rock bands and rougher acts like Ripcord.

The Peddler's Daughter
The live music generally starts at 9:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, although they used to book Wednesday nights too. The crowds tend to be younger and louder any night the Peddler's Daughter has a band booked. Lunch might be the better option for anyone not excited by a lively atmosphere.

The lineups are much stronger in its sister establishment located in Haverhill, Mass. There you can catch acts like Colm O'Brien, Revels Glen, the Foggy Duo, and Chris & Matt (bands like those that used to be booked in Nashua). By most visitor accounts however, the Nashua establishment still tends to eek out better customer reviews in every other category.

The family-owned establishment is also known to host other events on occasion. Most recently, the pub hosted a Toast For A Cure fundraiser, helping to raise $4,400 for a local cystic fibrosis clinic. The fundraiser was organized by the Garvey family in Amherst, Mass. whose daughter was diagnosed several years ago.

The Peddler's Daughter Wraps Up 4.2 On The Liquid Hip Richter Scale. 

Although not necessarily the finest Irish pub in the United States, the Peddler's Daughter is an unexpected plus along the less-traveled paths like Nashua. And while some people might suggest the service is slow or that the liveliness can be a little loud at times, most of that comes from being entrenched in the communities they call home.

Right. The Peddler's Daughter isn't a just a place. It's part of the community, making everyone else who stops in nicely welcomed guests, much like you would expect from an authentic Irish pub. You can find out more about The Peddler's Daughter on Facebook. For all other travel plans, visit with the top travel deals at In recent years, the small city has been revitalizing its historic, natural and local artist offerings.
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