New ‘Taps & Tacos’ Restaurant Set to Open in White River Junction Apartment Complex

Valley News Business Writer
Saturday, October 15, 2016

White River Junction — The ground floor retail space at Matt Bucy’s new apartment complex at 129 S. Main St. in White River Junction is expected to soon have its first tenant: Trail Break Taps & Tacos, a nuevo-style craft beer and taco eatery to be opened by restaurant entrepreneur Topher Lyons.

Lyons, a graduate of the hospitality industry program at the University of New Hampshire’s Whittemore School of Business and Economics who has managed restaurants around the country and currently works at Jesse’s in Lebanon, was approved in September to receive a $40,000 loan from the Hartford Business Revolving Loan Fund Committee to help him get his business started.

“My chef and I are very excited to be bringing a fresh new concept to the area and are working diligently to get all of the pieces lined up and put together over the next several months,” Lyons said via email in response to an inquiry about his plans.

He added he hopes to open Trail Break Taps & Tacos in February, but said he was “holding off on putting the word out until we are able to home in our timeline and get a bit closer to launch.”

Developer Bucy, who recently stepped down from the Hartford Selectboard, opened the 22-unit apartment complex in January by renovating the former American Legion Hall. The moderately priced rentals, which begin at about $775 a month, filled up quickly, but finding tenants to move into the ground floor retail space has required more patience.

A letter of agreement with Lyons to rent the space has been signed and a lease is expected to be signed “shortly,” according to Bucy. The restaurant will occupy one-third of the available ground floor space with the other two-thirds still uncommitted, Bucy added.

Lyon’s taco bar will be joining an increasingly vibrant downtown White River Junction food and craft beer scene.

The owners of Tuckerbox this summer doubled its floor space by expanding into the Gates Briggs Building, and earlier this month Piecemeal Pies, which describes itself as “a British inspired pie shop (and) hard cider bar,” also opened in Gates Briggs. They followed the opening in February of micro-brewery River Roost Brewery and the introduction of a “crowler bar” at Big Fatty’s BBQ that serves and cans on the sport 20 different varieties of craft beer.

The loan is contingent upon Lyon also receiving a $140,000 business loan from Mascoma Savings Bank and Lyon family members “guaranteeing to cover any difference if crowd funding does not reach the of $30,000,” according to the minutes of the committee’s Sept. 22 meeting.

Bob Haynes, executive director of the Green Mountain Economic Development Corp., which oversees management of the town’s revolving fund to help small businesses in Hartford, said other recipients include Piecemeal Pies and Wilder-based energy efficient modular home builder Vermod Homes.