State Liquor Store Added to Exit 5 Travel Plaza Plans

The proposed Londonderry Travel Plaza, which is already scheduled to include a gas station and the third location of the world famous Red Arrow Diner, will now also feature a state liquor store. The move is a win-win, for both the travel plaza developers and the state liquor business.

The New Hampshire Liquor Commission (NHLC), which oversees the state liquor stores, has been seeking suitable locations for expansion. Given the level of traffic usage along southern stretches of Interstate 93, liquor officials say that this new Londonderry location would be a good idea.

“Over the past four years, the N.H. Liquor Commission has been intensely focused on the strategic relocation and renovation of stores in an effort to maximize profitability. This strategy has directly resulted in record revenues for the state,” NHLC Chairman Joseph Mollica said.

He added that over this fiscal year, sales have exceeded last year’s revenues by $17.5 million, and five stores have seen revenues rise by $1 million over the same stretch.

Mollica is optimistic about the store’s chances for success at Exit 5.

“We view the Londonderry Travel Plaza site as a tremendous growth opportunity as the exposure to thousands of vehicles traveling along Interstate 93 will introduce more customers to the value and selection available at N.H. Liquor & Wine Outlets,” he said. “This is especially true for customers who continue on Route 101 East, Route 28, and others traveling to and from the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport. This strategic and synergistic location, alongside recognized brands such as Sunoco and Red Arrow Diner, will deliver more revenue to the state and General Fund.”

NHLC spokesman Jeff Mucciarone said that the existing Derry location will remain open.

Aranosian Oil Company, developers of the proposed travel plaza, is equally excited about a liquor store joining their plan. From the company’s perspective, the liquor outlet will serve as a complement to the gas station and diner.

“It was critical for us to complement the Sunoco fuel brand with a signature, specialty retail option and a non-franchised, quality food option. A NH Liquor & Wine Outlet store was specifically and independently identified as the most unique and preferred retail entity for this site,” Aranosian’s Floyd Hayes said. “The presence of the New Hampshire Liquor & Wine Outlets, combined with the famous Red Arrow Diner and top-tier Sunoco fuel brand, provides the ideal opportunity and retail offering to meet the needs of all travelers.”

Aranosian is proposing the building of a travel center at its current Sunoco gas station site at Exit 5. The plan is to raze the existing building, leaving the canopy in place and creating a larger travel center.

When the building is complete, there will be a new 9,000 square foot N.H. Liquor and Wine outlet and a Red Arrow Diner.

Hayes said that the travel plaza will feature a modern 3,000-square foot convenience store, 19 fueling stations including diesel fuel and kerosene, a truck retail center, and parking for trucks, tour buses, and recreational vehicles.

The Red Arrow Diner, which has received numerous honors and accolades from restaurant critics nationwide and has been profiled on several television shows, such as the Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-in’s and Dives,” as well being recognized by the USA Today as “One of the Top Ten Diners in the Country,” is also excited to open its third location here.

“While it never occurred to me at the conception that there would someday be three Red Arrow Diner locations, demand has grown which has allowed this exciting endeavor to occur,” owner Carol Lawrence said.  “We look forward to serving with the highest of standards, quality and consistency alongside the NH Liquor & Wine Outlets and Sunoco fueling stations and truck centers.” Red Arrow Diner owner Carol Lawrence said.

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