DCP is situated in lovely downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire, about 3/4 of a mile away from the center of town. New Hampshire is a Sales Tax Free state, which can be beneficial to those buying a lot of drum equipment. You can be on the water in about 3 minutes, or deep in the White Mountains in an hour. Such environmental diversity is rare; especially for such a small state! New Hampshire is very small business friendly, and as a result, you will find what I consider to be the heartbeat of America here; a group of hardworking, creative people expressing their artistic vision through business, and providing good quality jobs for people in the meantime. For those of you who are looking to visit this lovely town, consider this page to be a resource for you.
Portsmouth has been recognized by MSN as one of the "Most Romantic Cities in America." If you are looking to create a retreat for yourself and a loved one, and at the same time make a pit stop at the largest display of high end snare drums in the country, Portsmouth is your place. We are less than an hour from Boston, and about 5 minutes away from the Kittery Maine Shopping Outlets.
There are many other things to do; Portsmouth caters to the foodies. The 2010 census showed a population of just over 20,000. Interestingly enough, there are 22,000 restaurant seats in Portsmouth. Simply put; if you like food, this is the place. Below is a list of our favorites.
For eclectic, upper end fare: (Think Yamaha PHX)
Great service, and always a culinary surprise. To be around here in the spring/summer is just a treat.
Surf has amazing cuisine that does not talk down to you. If you like to keep it simple, but are curious to spread your wings just a bit, Surf is great. Be sure to request the Surftini, which is no longer on the menu but will be made upon request.
The Library: http://www.libraryrestaurant.com/
You will not find better architecture in Portsmouth, or most places for that matter. The lounge is absolutely incredible. The Library serves the upper mid Steakhouse experience, but we suggest having the Chocolate Cake here, (make sure you request the homemade vanilla ice cream with it) The cake will be something you continue to talk about. For the steak itself…check out the place below.
Four Restaurant: http://fouronstate.com/
Located within walking distance of the Library, Four will give you superior ingredients and service from an engaged staff and creative chefs.
Jumpin Jay's: http://www.jumpinjays.com/
If you want fish, this is the place. The highest quality ingredients. There isn't a heck of a lot of creativity here, but if you want the finest quality, their execution is flawless, and the cocktails are great too.
Brazo and The Green Monkey: http://www.brazorestaurant.com/ http://thegreenmonkey.net/
Located across from each other; if one place is full, just go to the other place. Amazing service and creative food. Brazo wins in the bar department, the Monkey for the espresso covered Filet Mignon!
For Mid End: (Think Mapex Saturn or Pearl MCT)
Mojo's is BBQ, beer, attractive waitstaff at decent prices. EVERYTHING is good here. The place is run well and it shows. It's a 2 minute walk from DCP and you will often find a DCP alumni there after store hours.
The Blue Mermaid: http://bluemermaid.com/
I hesitate to put this in the mid end category, because the food is upscale all the way. The dining environment is good, but not exceptional. The Mermaid happens to be Rachel Ray's pick for restaurants in Portsmouth. If you are looking to impress a lady with culinary muscle, the Mermaid delivers in spades. The food is AWESOME.
The District: http://thedistrictnh.com/
Want to sit at a bar, and have a stiff cocktail with fresh fruit in there and then have a Kobe Burger? Come here. Great spot. Formally Informal.
Street 360: http://streetfood360.com/
Located across the street from DCP, Street is the ticket. Korean-esque with Southern Flair; Street is funky, creative, and delicious. I've yet to have a cocktail I have enjoyed, but the food, and the imported beer makes up for it. If you want a memorable meal like one you've not had before, Street is a solid choice, and they use all local ingredients.
For the "New England" Experience: (Think old Ludwigs)
We get it. You want some Lobsters and seafood. You also want to make sure the seafood is local too. Here's a list of our suggestions.
Bob's Clam Hut: http://www.bobsclamhut.com/
If you want fried seafood in a basket, Bob's is the best around. You will sit at a picnic table, but it will be a nice break from all the outlet shopping. It will also give you a chance to butter up the Missus about that Joyful Noise Snare Drum you've been looking at.
Directly across is Robert's Maine Grill, which is superb.
I admit, I LOVE Warrens once in a blue moon. It's got a big 'ol belly up to the salad bar, with homemade pumpkin bread that's dynamite, and it's RIGHT ON THE WATER. We suggest going here for STEAMED LOBSTER. Get that with the salad bar, and you will have had the New England experience.
Everything else: (Think Slatwall Accessories)
High end cocktail with the best view:
Martingale Wharf: http://www.martingalewharf.com/
This place is right under Surf. Go get a drink here, and leave it at that. The bar is beautiful, and the bartender Ray is very musician friendly.
Gilleys IS Portsmouth. I've never eaten here without a few toddies in me, but I love it. Greasy burgers and dogs, and the Guinness book of world record holder for the most parking tickets.
(The cart part of Gilley's was on Market square before the depression)
Burgers, Dogs, and Poutine!
The Friendly Toast: http://thefriendlytoast.net/
The Toast is always busy. It has all day breakfast, and a mile long menu. Major hipster hangout.
Walk in, have a look at the amazing architecture, (I believe it was an old bank) then turn around, leave to go to the place below.
The Coat of Arms British Pub: http://coatofarmsbritishpub.com/
The Coat has more SCOTCH than you can imagine. Imported Ales you won't find anywhere, and some traditional Brit-Indi cuisine. The staff wears Soccer uniforms, the jukebox is the best around, and you will find the most interesting mix of dart throwers, college kids, and booze enthusiasts here. Everyone seems to get along too. Oh, it's right across from Gilley's too.
It's not quite pizza; it's the eco-friendly flatbread. The pizza here will blow your mind. It's really amazing. It's a bit loud in there too though, as it's ALWAYS busy.
Lexi's Joint: http://lexiesjoint.com/
At first, I was put off by the 4 oz burger. Then I realized that for flavor, it was the right size. If that concerns you, get 2. And get a Shake. And the fries. And whatever it is chocolate that they do at the end. It's a great, funky, inexpensive, chef owned spot within walking distance of DCP.
The Music Hall: http://www.themusichall.org/
A national treasure of the arts! The Hall has some incredible acts pass through. DCP is a proud supporter of the Music Hall.
The Press Room: http://www.pressroomnh.com/
The Press Room has been serving the Jazz community since 1976. They do live music 7 nights a week. The Tuesday night open jam is always a treat to watch, as there are some smoking locals from Portsmouth's robust Jazz community.
The Dolphin Striker: http://www.dolphinstriker.com/
My choice for live music. On a weekend night, this 50-odd seat place houses some of the best in New England. Cats like Dave Mattacks and Jerome Deupree play here frequently, and you're so close to the stage, the wood chips from the drumsticks will fall into your wine. I wouldn't have it any other way. Plus the very first well in Portsmouth is in here. Thats how old the building is. The Striker is great.
The Gas Light: http://www.portsmouthgaslight.com/
In the Summertime, the patio at the Gas Light has some cover bands and beer. It's one of those places you just wind up at.
Admittedly, I don't have much experience here, since I live here. There are some Bed and Breakfasts downtown, and for the chain experience, there is a Sheraton and a Hilton right downtown. For economy, the Port Inn is right near DCP at the best rates. The prices are great, and it's locally owned. http://www.theportinn.net/ Also, the Best Western, Holiday Inn, and Americas Best Inn are all right near DCP at good rates, and you can have breakfast, lunch, or dinner at the Roundabout Diner, and it's great.
If you REALLY want to impress someone, check out the Wentworth by the sea: http://www.wentworth.com/
One of the old "Grand Hotels" of the old days. It's class.
York Harbor Inn: http://www.yorkharborinn.com/
Want a romantic weekend away? This is a strong contender. Arguably the greatest view you will get in Maine, the York Harbor Inn is about 15 minutes away from DCP and well worth it. Great food and atmosphere, you also get to see live music there. Rodney Holmes is known to play there annually.
Gary's Guitars: http://www.garysguitars.biz/
We share a wall with Gary. If you want to talk to one of the most knowledgeable cats about all things guitars, Gary knows his stuff. Master repairs as well.
Discover Portsmouth Center: http://www.portsmouthhistory.org/discover_portsmouth_center/
If you want a history lesson, go here. DCP is a proud sponsor of Discover Portsmouth. They feature some great historic exhibits.
Albacore Park: http://www.ussalbacore.org/html/albacore_park.html
Want to spend $10 bucks and walk through a USS Submarine? It's worth the 40 minutes. Really, really cool.
The Portsmouth Naval Prison: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portsmouth_Naval_Prison
There are no tours of this place, but it's visible from all over Portsmouth. Take a boat cruise during the day, and getting near the place will blow your mind. I've done more googling on this place than I care to admit. It's fascinating.
The Isles of Shoals Steamship Company: http://www.islesofshoals.com/
Better known as the "Booze Cruise", this seasonal jaunt along the harbor is a weekly occurrence for DCP alumni. The view, the music, and overpriced cheap beer is perfect. Watching the sunset along the Shoals is a great romance moment too. Just ask Tom.
Kittery Outlets: http://www.thekitteryoutlets.com/
If you, or someone you know wants clothes, this is the place. It's in Maine, so there is sales tax, but the savings can be steep.
We hope this page is helpful to you. If you fly into Manchester, NH, we are about 45 minutes away, and about one hour from Logan. Enjoy your stay!