The Decks in Portsmouth have seen quite a change in the past few years. Poco’s no longer has its waterside locale, but has a new rooftop perch – as does River House and a few new restaurants likely to show up at the Martingale Wharf. In this shot you can picture the laid back afternoon as people enjoy the return of a tugboat and some ice cream by the waterfront. The Old Ferry Landing’s easily recognized bright red canvas (and logo) is a nice touch of vibrancy in this warm weather image.
In the latest installation of Portsmouth’s restaurants – Poco’s Bow Street Cantina is featured. Poco’s is probably best known for its nachos and outdoor deck/watering hole with delicious margaritas and Smuttynose on draft – but they also have a beautiful interior. Every time I eat indoors, I’m drawn to this beautiful painting with its curvaceous shape – mirroring the street the restaurant is located on (Bow Street). Looking forward to many outdoor visits throughout the spring/summer as long as mother nature is willing to make it comfortable, but it’s good to know inside I’ll be greeted by some old school New England interior.
I finally got out for a few evenings on the decks, including a nice dinner at the River House. Shame that it’s not really warm enough yet to enjoy a lazy night outside at 8pm…but it was gorgeous enough to warrant taking this shot of the spring sunset over the shoulders of the Moran Towing tugboats. I thought it was a little overdue to feature the tugs again. Stay tuned through the week for more shots from the Street AKA Museum exhibit as well as a new location I haven’t yet featured here on the site.
After chronicling the progress of the The Martingale Wharf project over the past couple years, it is finally in its final phase – and I must say, it looks like it’s going to be an awesome addition to the waterfront. The modern details (wire balconies and some granite on the facade) on the brick structure help it stand out from an otherwise ordinary addition. The new deck is absolutely massive, which is accessed from a nice granite/cement/brick stairwell that leads down to the waterfront and provides access to all the other decks. I can’t wait to enjoy a few evenings outside while watching the sunset and doing some top notch people watching. This looks like it will be a great spot to do all of the above.
As you may or may not know, the decks will be getting somewhat of a facelift ahead of this spring’s season. Harpoon Willy’s had to reconfigure its space a little bit with the redevelopment of the Martingale Wharf project. The stairs that used to come down right into Willy’s space before will now come all the way to the deck level and around the back of the bar space. Another change on the waterfront – maybe unfortunately for HW’s, but fortunate for people who want to come down and enjoy a waterfront view without a pint in hand. Should be a good place for me to hunker down with a tripod in everyone’s way for more gorgeous sunsets that are on the way for summer (which can’t come soon enough).
I’m always afraid to overdo any particular subject here at The Daily Portsmouth. Sometimes, I can’t help myself…in the late afternoon recently I had the chance to stroll down Ceres Street and the lighting was just awesome. It’s been an appropriate amount of time since the last tugboat photo – so even though I overdo the tugs (nobody seems to mind too much), I thought I’d share a new take on the workers. The Moran Towing tugboats are serious pieces of machinery, and they’ve gotten busy again with the arrival of fall and freighters unloading sand and salt. I love the grittiness of the shot and the textures that seem to pop off of the frame, highlighting the ruggedness of the vessel. I think it’s a nice change from the usual sunset/waterfront shots that usually feature them.
The season for The Decks is drawing to a close. The Old Ferry Landing has closed for the year…I haven’t seen many folks down at the River House lately, I’ve seen a few folks at Poco’s in their new covered deck and a few die hards at Harpoon Willy’s still venture out (and rumor has it they’re hoping to stay open through Halloween).
I wanted to take a minute to reflect at the past spring/summer/fall season that saw a lot of changes to the Decks. The new pavers were put in throughout the alleyway, and looked pristine for a while (now you wouldn’t guess they’re only a year old with all of the grease and traffic they’ve seen), The River House constructed a second story deck and saw another successful year…and probably the most noteworthy change was the shift of Poco’s deck from on the water to against the building. I’ll always miss the old configuration, but there’s something to be said for eating/drinking in a warmer spot against the building. It’s opened the area up significantly….check out the shots below, which was taken last September just before the old structure came down. Quite an evolution for this little part of town.
The little garden perched above The Oar House Deck and in front of the Moffatt-Ladd House is easy to miss. It’s this little oasis with fountains and rich colored flowers tucked right on the side of Market Street. (It’s also often overpoweringly stinky thanks to the dumpsters at the Ceres St. level). It’s well worth a stroll down if you’re heading towards Annabelle’s for some ice cream or towards the Decks or out for a Harbor Cruise.
I went to the River House for a late dinner on Friday night with my brother to celebrate his birthday. You can sort of see us in the shot above – both with iPhones cranking away, a familiar site for those of you who know us.
I wanted to feature the changing look of the River House’s deck, with the new 2nd-level outdoor deck looking like it’s well on its way to completion. The steel structure that overhangs the alley is up, and I was told last time over there that there will be a great outdoor addition (think cold beer) to the new setup. They’re also working on a second indoor dining room to expand their space. This has become one of my favorite spots for outdoor dining & adult beverages during the spring/summer….and it’ll be interesting to see everything once it’s all finished. Check out the shot below for a “before” of the outdoor area.
Today – another one of my favorite spots on Ceres Street, The Oar House. The Oar House has an awesome outdoor sign, an incredibly well located deck for the warmer months, and one of the most inviting and cozy interiors of any place in Portsmouth. I don’t get there for dinner too often, but the few times I’ve been to enjoy a glass of wine in the downstairs bar, I was lucky enough to hear Don Fancy on the piano. The exposed wooden beams on the ceiling throughout the interior add to the building’s charm.
My favorite part of this shot must be the downspout off to the right – I just loved how the copper is worn and discolored with all that character. The sidewalk in this shot is new, as the City invested some serious dollars this past spring to spruce up the Ceres Street infrastructure along with the new park at The Decks.