Saturday, November 1, 2014
My Account  | Login
Nashua;43.0;http://forecast.weather.gov/images/wtf/small/nfew.png;2014-11-01 00:45:57
pic1
pic2
  • Staff photo by Don Himsel


    Taylor Terrio and his father Bill are building a bar in part of what was once Cameraland on Main Street in Nashua. The family run business will feature an eclectic mix of food from around the globe.
  • Staff photo by Don Himsel


    Taylor Terrio and his father Bill are building a bar in part of what was once Cameraland on Main Street in Nashua. The family run business will feature an eclectic mix of food from around the globe.
Monday, April 9, 2012

Nashua natives, father and son, to open McKenzie’s on Main Street

NASHUA – Nashua natives Bill and Taylor Terrio are building the shell of a downtown retail staple into their dream dining destination, and they’re doing it by hand.

What once housed Cameraland will soon be home to the Terrios’ new family-owned establishment called McKenzie’s Restaurant & Bar.

Since December, the father and son have been laying floor boards, painting and putting up new green walls, building bars and benches, and transforming the subdivided section of Camerland’s old space into a Scottish-themed restaurant.

“It was nothing,” Taylor Terrio said of Cameraland’s old building.

“We built this from scratch,” his father added. “We built everything in here. … We’ve put a lot into this.”

Bill Terrio, who served in the Army for 181⁄2 years, brings both his construction background and diverse cooking experience to build the business from the inside out.

“My family has talked about this for years and years and years, and I just decided to act on it,” he said. “I got tired of doing trade work, because it’s too much work as I’m getting older.”

For the menu, Bill Terrio said that after traveling to 37 different countries while in the service, he’s picked up plenty of unique recipes along the way.

“Because I liked to cook, I would always be asked to help out in the kitchen,” he said. “I would meet up with different families when I’d be on deployments and I’d learn how to cook traditionally using their ways.”

But the options, which will include everything from British pasties and pot pies, to Indonesian, Thai and Portuguese cuisine, come from family recipes straight out of the kitchens of the Terrios’ extended family, Bill Terrio said.

“The whole idea behind this is we’ve got so many people in our family, they’re all from all over the world and they all can cook very well,” he said. “We’re going to take that one meal that everyone in my family can cook very well, and we’re going to put that on the menu as our own family-type pub food.”

From bottom to top, the restaurant is a Terrio family endeavor. Bill and Taylor Terrio will be running the business along with an aunt and uncle to start, they said.

“This is basically funded by the family,” Bill Terrio said. “We’re basically liquidating everything so we can put this together.”

But once they do open, the guys see plenty of room to grow, they said.

For now, the back of the building, which once housed Cameraland’s photo gallery, and a ballet studio after that, stores all of the Terrios’ construction equipment, drywall, paint, chair and table parts, and brewery signs, which have gone into giving McKenzie’s its warm Scottish character.

By August though, that room should become a DJ stage and dance floor called “McKenzie’s Back Room,” Taylor Terrio said.

“My uncle has a background in DJing, so he’ll be running our back room, which we’re trying to make into a night life scene,” Taylor Terrio said. “We’ll have the calm bar scene out front, and then our dance room out back.”

Though they’re starting off by serving beer and wine only, they’ll also be working on getting a full liquor license, Bill Terrio said.

As they build up to their final product, Taylor Terrio, who has spent his young adult life hanging at other downtown bars like Martha’s Exchange and Peddler’s Daughter, said he has found nothing but friendly welcomes as McKenzie’s moves in.

The competition is obvious with O’Brien’s just a few feet up the street, and the Nashua Garden across the way. But as McKenzie’s goes up at 96 Main St., the Terrios have been spending plenty of time with their new neighbors around town, they said.

“We go over (to O’Brien’s) every now and then, when we can spare the time, we’ll run over there for a quick lunch or whatever,” Taylor Terrio said. “They’re very nice guys.”

Bill Terrio said there’s plenty of room for everyone.

“We’re not going to offer the same things on our menu, and we don’t want to,” He said. “From what I understand, O’Brien’s has got a great fish taco. I doubt we’ll be putting fish tacos on our menu, and the other foods are a lot different than what other people are serving.”

After all, as the Terrios both grew up frequenting Nashua’s downtown establishments, they don’t plan on stopping now just because they have their own space, they said.

“We want to be friends with everyone around us because we’re not just going to party in our own place,” Bill Terrio said with a laugh. “You need to have a good rapport with everybody around you.”

As McKenzie’s works its way towards its late April opening, plenty of people have stopped to see what’s happening, they said.

For now, the McKenzie family crest is the only indicator of what’s going to come into the space, complete with a Gaelic saying “Leceo non uro,” which means “We will never burn,” Bill Terrio said.

With just a few weeks to go, as the duo puts in 14-16 to hour days to get everything up and going, the saying is a good reminder for the rewards to come.

“It’s getting pretty close,” Bill Terrio said. “It should be a lot of fun.”

“It’s been a lifelong dream for both of us,” Taylor Terrio added.

Maryalice Gill can be reached at 594-6490 or mgill@nashuatelegraph.com. Also, follow Gill on Twitter (@Telegraph_MAG).