Launch of Street 360 brings international street foods to downtown Concord

By RAY DUCKLER

Monitor staff

Published: 10-06-2023 4:00 PM

Jay McSharry, whose 14-restaurant empire covers a large portion of the Granite State and a small section in Maine, hopes to routinely hear the shortened version of his new, eclectic restaurant in Concord, which opened for business this week.

Officially, it’s called Street 360, located at 76 North Main Street, site of the old New Hampshire Pizza Company. But with time, McSharry hopes, the new addition to Concord’s cultural landscape will plant roots, attract a solid fan base and be known as, simply, The Street, by both loyal ‘insiders’ and newcomers alike.

“I’m not used to the entire name being used,” said McSharry, who lives in Portsmouth. “People in the know just call it The Street.”

McSharry co-owned the New Hampshire Pizza Company for 2½ years before closing last month due to high costs and low numbers. That’s one of his few failures, however.

He’s got Street restaurants in Portsmouth and Exeter, and he reports that both are doing well. The Portsmouth version opened more than a decade ago; the Exeter Street opened 1 ½ years ago.

McSharry said the worldwide view of choices jump from his menu, and that’s the formula that has worked in his other two Street restaurants. “Food from all over the world,” McSharry said. “South Korea, Mexico, Italy.”

He lists Banh Mi – which combines cuisine from Vietnam and France and costs $17 – under Exotic, and Subarashii fries – sprinkled with Asian chili spice blend for $13 – and Gobi 65 – Indian spiced cauliflower with tamarind glaze for $12 – in the Good Bites section.

“An eclectic, casual restaurant and cocktail lounge that satisfies both your hunger and your wanderlust,” says the website’s description. “From falafel to pho, burgers to bibimbap, we serve the world’s most flavorful street food in one lively place.”

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McSharry is 56. He’s a Connecticut native and he graduated from the University of New Hampshire. He lives in Portsmouth, where his fingerprints related to the food and drink industry are everywhere.

He opened Jumpin’ Jay’s Fish Cafe 23 years ago and calls it his flagship restaurant. The Moxy and the Franklin Oyster House are also in Portsmouth, as is White Heron Tea and Coffee.

His latest business, opened this summer, is Ore Nell’s Barbecue in Kittery, Maine. Locally, he adds The Street to Dos Amigos Burritos.

Meanwhile, the now-closed New Hampshire Pizza Company illustrates how difficult it can be to launch and then establish a restaurant in the area.

He partnered with Joel Harris, a fixture in the Granite State restaurant business, and hoped the brick-oven style of cooking would win over the city.

“We never did the business we needed to do to sustain the quality of food and product we were putting out,” Harris said last month, shortly after announcing his pizza place was closing. “The service was good, but we could never make the numbers work.”

To prepare his latest establishment, McSharry has used employees from The Street restaurants in Exeter and Portsmouth to train his new staff. He opened on Wednesday in what amounted to a soft opening. The place wasn’t packed, but McSharry was happy.

“We told no one about it,” McSharry said. “We wanted to test the waters. It was great.”

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