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15 years ago Mitch Sawaya, Owner of Strange Brew Tavern, bought an abandoned property and turned it into a thriving part of the Manchester, NH food and music scene. We spoke with him briefly to get his thoughts on community, interdependence, and really good beer.

Sage:
Tell us a little bit about Strange Brew.  

Mitch:
It’s an American blues and R&B club. We feature the best in blues and R&B. Everything’s about the music here. We do live music six nights a week. I get a lot of the musicians who tour with the bigger names and when they’re in town they come play here. 

Sage:
How does Strange Brew support the community?

Mitch:
We’ve been here a long time. We’re a big place, so we have an effect on what goes on here in downtown Manchester. We support the 100 Club, which provides support to widowed police wives and we get involved with all the things that help bring the right type of businesses to downtown. I spend a lot of time with the alderman, the police and fire departments asking, ‘what are we trying to do with the city?’ These things are good for business in the long run, but more than that they’re good for people in the state.

Sage:
How does the community support you? Do you have a lot of regulars?

Mitch:
We have a tremendous number of regulars, that’s what keeps us in business. There are people that come here two or three nights a week and they say they can afford to. You can come in on a Tuesday night and for $10 or $12 come out of here with an appetizer and a couple of beers because of our promotions.

Sage:
Anything else about your business that you’d care to share?

Mitch:
We try to have the most interesting selection of draft beers in the state, and it pays off because every time they have a new beer introduced to the state, they want to do their release parties here. We win awards for our pub menu. I’m proud to tell people to come eat here.

The next time you’re in Manchester, NH, be sure to stop into Strange Brew Tavern for a craft beer and some live R&B. http://strangebrewtavern.net