Diners in the Greater Manchester area are flocking to Copper Door for a variety of dining experiences.
Tom Boucher has long understood it’s sometimes tough to decide on one type of dining experience over another; while it’s fun to dress up and take a fancy trip to a fine dining establishment for a special occasion, it can be just as fulfilling to throw on a comfortable pair of jeans and head to a casual, laid back dinner with friends. The challenge of deciding between those options is part of why Greater Manchester residents and visitors alike tend to visit a variety of dining options across the Queen City. It’s also why Boucher, his wife Dana, business partners Mark Fenske and Dan Fraser, and the team behind popular Bedford eatery Copper Door designed the restaurant as a dining option catering to both diners up for a casual night out and those seeking a more upscale experience.
“When we began to discuss the idea of opening, back in 2011, it was clear there was a void for people to gravitate to one favorite restaurant,” Boucher says. “We knew there was an opportunity to create something in the middle of different dining experiences – in other words, something not too casual and not too fancy. Something just right.”
It was an ambitious idea, and Boucher knew establishing a restaurant that struck that particular balance would take time, effort, and research. He’d done some leg work through opening several successful restaurants, including several locations for Cactus Jack’s and T-BONES in southern New Hampshire, and Boucher drew the rest of his inspiration from trips to some of the most well-known, popular dining establishments across the country while attending National Restaurant Association Board meetings for the past nine years.
Visiting some of the nation’s finest locations for cuisine sounds like the type of research anyone can get behind, but Boucher was on the lookout for far more than simply good food. A successful restaurant, after all, also depends on an appealing presentation, and so Boucher relied extensively on his wife and partner, Dana. As a freelance artist and designer, Dana had just the right eye for aesthetics to identify elements that would eventually inspire the look and feel of Copper Door. Mark Fenske was the brains behind the physical layout, equipment, and operational details.
The striking design elements are apparent from a visitor’s first arrival, when visitors encounter the large, custom-made copper door that reflects the restaurant’s name; it’s a feature that imparts a sense of grandeur and eloquence while remaining relaxed and rustic. The feeling continues within Copper Door’s sprawling, high-ceilinged interior, which is highlighted by massive exposed wood beams and architectural forged steel that convey a sense of both sophistication and casual intimacy. The overall sense, Boucher explains, is one that impresses without intimidating.
“When you walk in, we’re hoping the reaction is ‘Wow, look at this place,’ without being overwhelmed,” he says. There’s a certain casual splendor to the place, in other words, that;s present no matter which part of the restaurant you choose to try – and as Boucher and his team intended, there are several types of seating options available. Whether you prefer the elegant, welcoming dining room of 125 seats, a private dining space that accommodates 20, or a friendly bar and lounge space for meeting and mingling, Copper Door has something for you.