Thirsty Turtle tavern to open on Temple Street in Nashua

NASHUA – It didn’t take long for the home of the recently closed Old Amsterdam Bar and Lounge to get back in use. The Thirsty Turtle Tavern and Grill will open there this weekend.

“By word of mouth that we heard the space was available. We were looking, so we got in contact,” said Chrissy Widtfeldt of Nashua, one of three owners of the new bar at 8 Temple St.

There will be a “soft opening” Friday, May 27, and a full-blown opening on Saturday, May 28.

She and co-owners Chuck Davis of Concord, Mass., and Dee-Dee Goose-Brasil of Hudson own the Slapshot Pub in Chelmsford, Mass., and are opening the Thirsty First in Lowell, Mass. The name of that latter pub plays off a Speakeasy theme, and they liked it so much that they decided to stick with “thirsty” when naming their Nashua bar.

“We came to it by chance,” said Widtfeldt. She said Goose-Brasil is a member of a turtle tribe of Native Americans, while “turtles are my favorite – I have a tattoo of one.”

The Old Amsterdam Bar and Lounge opened in the Temple Street building five years ago, replacing the Black Orchid Grille that had closed just weeks previously. Old Amsterdam closed earlier this month with no fanfare.

Widtfeldt said she thought the location was good and that Nashua is ripe for more downtown life.

“I think that Lowell is a great example. I would like to see Nashua look for a little bit like, with the Folk Festival, the WinterFest. … I have noticed that there seems to have been more growth in the activities in downtown Nashua. And it’s a beautiful city,” she said.

The fact that two of owners live here helps.

“We’re both in the area, know a lot of people,” said Widtfeldt, who has lived in Nashua for 11 years.

“We will try to do a lot of local live music, open mic nights, acoustic players. We’ll have a change of menu, with a specialty grilled cheese, salads,” she said. They kept the wings, a popular menu item.

An online search shows several bars around the country named some variant of The Thirsty Turtle, but that’s just a coincidence, Widtfeldt said.

David Brooks can be reached at 594-6531, or @GraniteGeek.