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Former William Tell to Become an Irish Pub

August 30, 2018

If you’ve driven into Waterville Valley this summer, then you can’t help but notice the work going on at the former William Tell Restaurant on Rt. 49. The FOR SALE sign was replaced with a SOLD sign. A new roof was installed. The exterior stucco has been painted a mustardy yellow and the trim a bright red. 

The building color is – how should I say it – distinctive and certainly causes you to do a double-take.

jl sullivans irish pub and restaurant opening soon in thornton, nh

After being vacant for five years, the building renovations ignited the rumor mill. Is it going to be a Mexican restaurant?  A Chinese restaurant? Will it serve Franz Dubach’s signature Swiss dishes (including my favorite potato soup, rosti potatoes and Toblerone cake)?

The answer is, it’s going to be an Irish pub, which apparently accounts for the bright yellow exterior paint color. Apparently, you’ll find many northern Irish pubs sporting the same color scheme. 

The former “Tell” was purchased by Dermot Stapleton, owner of J.L. Sullivan’s Irish Pub in Lancaster, NH (coincidentally, my hometown…and I have eaten at J.L. Sullivan’s many times).  The Thornton location will also be known as J.L. Sullivan’s and have the same menu as the Lancaster establishment.

According to information I found on the internet, Stapleton is an honest-to-goodness Irishman from Limerick who moved to the U.S. (Massachusetts to be exact) as a lad. His love of the outdoors led him to the Great North Woods of New Hampshire. 

It seems Dermot Stapleton is a boxing aficionado.  His restaurant is named after John L. Sullivan, aka the “Boston Strong Boy,” an Irish-American boxer (October 15, 1858 – February 2, 1918) and the first heavyweight champ of gloved boxing and the last bare-knuckle boxing champion.  

Renovations are progressing and there is now a HELP WANTED sign posted out front.  It looks like the Waterville Valley region’s newest restaurant will be opening soon.

jl sullivans irish pub and restaurant opening soon in thornton, nh

About Jan Stearns

I've been living in and loving New Hampshire's White Mountains for most of my life. I moved to Waterville Valley in 1981 and quickly realized why it was dubbed a Yankee Shangri-la. Once you’ve experienced Waterville Valley, you’ll want to call it yours. The great team of Realtors at Waterville Valley Realty can help you find a Waterville Valley home that fits your lifestyle and budget.

2 thoughts on “Former William Tell to Become an Irish Pub

  • MaryBeth says:

    Any news about it opening?

    • Jan Stearns says:

      Good morning! I have’t heard any news about an opening date for JL Sullivans. I just reached out to the owner and will share what I learn. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

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