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Getting to know your neighbor: Fireside Inn has new owner, options

OLD STANDARD GETS UPDATED MENU — The Fireside Inn, a local fixture for more than three decades, has a new owner and new options, in the oven. Photo by Peter Soscia.
SPRINGVILLE — The Fireside Inn has been a community fixture for more than three decades. Located on Vaughn Street in East Concord, local residents have flocked to the restaurant for steak and seafood meals beside a warm fireplace, inside an 1840s farmhouse. In the fall of 2013, the owners announced they would be retiring, sparking concern about the fate of the restaurant.

In her three-plus months of owning the Fireside Inn, Mary Marlow has quieted those concerns. It was always a dream of Marlow’s to have her own restaurant, so when the opportunity to purchase the Fireside Inn came to her, she said it was too good to pass up.

“It was a dream come true to own a restaurant. I have never done anything like this,” said Marlow, “It was an opportunity that came around at the right time. [The Fireside Inn is] a well-established restaurant in a great location and I couldn’t be happier. Things are going wonderfully.”

When customers walk through the doors of the Fireside Inn, Marlow said it should seem like not much has changed under the new ownership, but behind the scenes, the restaurant has an updated kitchen and a brand new menu, featuring many gluten-free options.

The expanded gluten-free menu comes from Marlow’s own allergy to gluten and other foods.

“I am a gluten-free person, and several of my children are, as well. I also have a lot of allergies, and because of that, the restaurant is now more allergy-sensitive,” Marlow explained. “Now, people who have a family member with [food] allergies, can come to our restaurant with confidence that they will be able to have a good meal and not worry about whatever the allergy the family member has.”

Adding allergy-friendly items, specifically gluten-free items, does not mean there is an entirely different menu. It is often just tweaking the ingredients of an existing meal, Marlow explained.

According to Marlow, lasagna is one of the restaurant’s best-selling items, and was a favorite under the past ownership, as well. At most restaurants, the pasta dish is not an option for a person with a gluten allergy.

“If someone is going out to a restaurant, steak and potatoes is always gluten-free, so someone with a gluten allergy can always get that,” she said. “Lasagna is one of those meals that, if you’re gluten-free, you dream about having.”

By switching to gluten-free brown rice noodles, as opposed to the traditional wheat noodles, it has become available to anyone. “It is a huge treat to people that are gluten-free. When they hear we have gluten-free noodles, they are excited,” said Marlow. The Fireside Inn also has gluten-free bread and rolls, making all burgers and sandwiches gluten-free options, as well.

The Fireside Inn is located at 12133 Vaughn St. in East Concord and is open Tuesday-Sunday, 4:30 p.m.-10 p.m. It also features brunch on Sunday mornings, starting at 10 a.m. For more information and menu options, visit marysfiresideinn.com or call 592-9979.

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