LACONIA — Dave Henrick and Yvette Imhof made their entree into the restaurant industry about two years ago, moving into a vacated doughnut shop on upper Union Avenue and opening Lakeside Famous Roast Beef. On a strip of road heavily settled with pizza, burger and sub shops, Lakeside made itself known among casual diners and lunch-on-the-run types as the place to go for a satisfying, comforting bite and personable service. This week, Imhof and Henrick are lifting the curtain on their second act, the 405 Pub & Grill, located about a mile and a half down Union Avenue (#405) from Lakeside.
Like Lakeside, the 405 Pub & Grill is taking residence in a building that has sat vacant for several years. And, like at their first restaurant, the food at the 405 will bear the trademarks that Imhof and Henrick pride themselves on: a from-scratch menu where every dish is created using top-quality ingredients. Henrick's personal recipe for marinara will again be employed, as will Imhof's Alfredo sauce and clam chowder. However, for the 405, they've brought in a new expert member of the team, James Bennett, whose credentials include a degree from the Culinary Institute of America and decades of experience.
The 405 opened earlier this week with a limited menu, the full range of dishes will be available by the weekend. "We do scratch only, everything from scratch," pledged Bennett. "We're all about New American and pub fare, great dishes using local ingredients and fresh seafood."
With a bar area featuring several large-screen televisions, the menu offers wings, nachos and onion rings for those interested in watching a ball game. Yet, there's also two dining rooms, and for patrons more at home at one of those tables, there will be steak tips, pasta dishes, seafood and, on Fridays and Saturdays, prime rib available in either 14 or 22 ounce cuts. Bridging the gap between those ends of the spectrum are burgers, sandwiches, salads and pizzas. In addition to the regular menu, Bennett plans to concoct changing specials that highlight the best of what the season has to offer.
As much effort that has gone into the menu, an equal amount went into the interior design of the restaurant. Henrick and Imhof spent many late nights at the 405, working after closing the Lakeside, to help give the space a complete, top-to-bottom modernization. Much of the labor was provided by their hands, though they also engaged the services of Bruce Stone of Daily Wood Concepts for the finer details. "We had to gut it," said Henrick, though he took care to salvage a few elements from previous inhabitants of the space, such as mirrored glass, a two-way service door, a brass rail on the bar..
With the success of Lakeside, Imhof and Henrick could have chosen to relax while the pizza and roast beef profits accumulated. However, that's just not their style.
"I always thought that Laconia would be a great place to have a great local pub and grill, that had a nice, comfortable feel to it," said Henrick. "We chose to take on this project and reinvest in the community." At the 405, he said, "You'll have great comfort food here along with great service."
The 405 Pub & Grill is open for lunch and dinner, every day of the year.
CAPTION for 405 PUB AND GRILL in AA:
Yvette Imhof and Dave Henrick opened the 405 Pub & Grill this week on Union Avenue in Laconia. It's the second restaurant the couple has opened in a previously vacant building in the city. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Adam Drapcho)