Salt Hill Buys Eagle Block In Newport

  • Salt Hil Pub on Thursday, June 29, 2017, in Newport, N.H. The Tuohy family purchased the Eagle Block building. (Valley News - Jovelle Tamayo) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to Valley News — Jovelle Tamayo

Valley News Correspondent
Published: 7/5/2017 11:43:29 PM
Modified: 7/5/2017 11:44:10 PM

Newport — The Economic Development Corporation of Newport announced on Wednesday it has sold the historic Eagle Block on Main Street to the owners of Salt hill Pub, which opened in the three-story brick building in 2007.

According to Paul Brown, Newport’s finance director and ECON board member, the sale price was $550,000. Brown said on Monday there had been informal talks about possibility of a sale off and on for a few years but negotiations became more serious in the last several months.

ECON operates as the town’s economic development organization and the proceeds from the sale will mean a “big infusion” of cash for the organization, Brown said.

“This will give us some funds to work with. We are not sure what the next project is but the money will be reinvested in ECON projects,” he said.

The buyer is Tuohy Holdings LLC, owned by Josh and Joe Tuohy, who have run Salt hill Pub in Newport for 10 years.

The 1825 building, originally the Eagle Hotel, once had apartments on the second and third floors and storefronts on the first floor. A fire in the late 1990s closed the building and at one point it was eyed for demolition until ECON bought it and grants of more than $2.3 million funded its nearly five-year restoration. It reopened in 2004 as the Eagle Tavern and Grill. Initially, the building was slated to house a training center for the precision machining industry.

Brown said in a news release that a Tool and Technology Resource Center operated on the third floor for a few years before moving to River Valley Community College. Salt hill now uses that space as a function room for a variety of events that have included presidential candidate visits and children’s birthday parties.

The Tuohys started Salt hill in 2003 and own five pub locations in Lebanon; Hanover; Newport; Newbury, N.H., near Mount Sunapee; and most recently, in West Lebanon.

“We opened in 2003 with our mission to be an essential element in the communities we serve,” Joe Tuohy said in the news release. “We are proud to have been in Newport for 10 years and we look forward to our future commitment to the Town and all our guests, who have become friends.”

Attempts to reach Josh Tuohy on Wednesday were unsuccessful.

In Newport, Salt hill is considered a “destination” that has helped rejuvenate the downtown, bringing in more than 30 full and part-time jobs, the news release stated.

“It is a real success,” Brown said in a phone interview on Wednesday. “If you look back to what it was — a burned-out building on Main Street — and now there are three-dozen jobs.”

Brown said ECON paid taxes on a portion, but not all, of the property, which is assessed at close to $700,000. With private ownership, the town will receive full tax payments, he said.

Patrick O’Grady can be reached at

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