Restaurants

The Striker, a beloved Portsmouth restaurant and music venue, will close Saturday

"We did not receive the federal relief grant from this last stimulus package set aside for restaurants," its owners shared.

Closed sign
The Striker will close on July 3. Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP

It’s last call for The Striker, a 47-year-old Portsmouth restaurant and music venue that recently revealed it will close for good on July 3.

“It is with a heavy heart that we are making this post,” read a Facebook announcement from the restaurant on Tuesday. “We did not receive the federal relief grant from this last stimulus package set aside for restaurants. The funds were dispensed before our turn in line. With that said this Saturday will be our last night open.”

The post went on to thank those who supported The Striker throughout the pandemic.

“We want to thank every staff member that has worked so hard to keep this seacoast restaurant alive,” the post read. “We want to thank every musician that has played music for us. We will be open Wednesday through Saturday. Come in one last time and have a good time if you so please. We love you Portsmouth.”

It is with a heavy heart that we are making this post. We did not receive the federal relief grant from this last…

Posted by The Striker on Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Co-owner Chris MacDonald told The Portsmouth Herald that he and co-owners Pete Dizoglio, Billy Rogan, and Dan Wright made the decision to close after not receiving funding from the most recent stimulus package.

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“We needed some help and unfortunately we made it so close, so close,” MacDonald told the publication. “But it goes to show that just because the [COVID-19] restrictions were lifted doesn’t mean that there weren’t repercussions for what’s gone on the last year-and-a-half.”

Federal funding, MacDonald said, would have allowed the restaurant to operate “comfortably for upwards of two years.”

The Striker, formerly known as The Dolphin Striker, first opened in 1974. It has been a mainstay in Portsmouth, serving seafood chowder, tacos, burgers, sandwiches, and beer-battered fish and chips from its cozy digs at 15 Bow St. It’s also been a destination for live music, and will play host to the Max Sullivan Band on Friday and Saturday before it shutters.

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In response to The Striker’s announcement, fans of the restaurant shared their fond memories.

“One of the original restaurants that put Portsmouth on the map,” wrote Janine King Moran. “Always wonderful food and cocktails. I’m so sorry to hear this news.”

“Whoa!,” wrote Rick Watson. “This is gonna leave a big hole in the heart of Portsmouth. Much love and respect to all of you who did all you could to keep it alive. Gonna miss the regular crew down there, both employee and customers… and really gonna miss playing my favorite room.”

Gregory Bolduc recalled his introduction to the restaurant: “My first drink when I moved to Portsmouth and lived on Bow street was at the Striker in 1977. Made many good friends over the 45 years and listened to some great live music. Thanks for the memories.”

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