Yesterday marked the start of a new beginning for George and Mary Harrington, owners of 43 Church in Salem. Last night the town that has been known to have every type of restaurant, ranging from Mexican to seafood, welcomed its first fine steak house and wine bar.
The new restaurant is taking place of the Lyceum, which was founded by George’s father, the elder George Harrington in 1988. After 23 years of running a successful business and developing a faithful clientele, Harrington decided to retire in June of this year, leaving George and Mary with endless options on where they wanted to take the restaurant.
“We took his retirement as an opportunity to celebrate,” says George. “And it also gave us the opportunity to do what we really wanted to and we thought steak house. This place has always spoken like a steak house.”
With no other restaurant in Salem focusing on different cuts and textures of steak George hired new General Manager Richard Lambiase to focus on bringing the steakhouse to life. George knew that with the help of a new GM and staff he could produce a great menu, maintain the relationships with his father’s clientele and reach a younger demographic.
Although they have set their standards high naming themselves a steak house, customers can find a variety of options on the menu.
“Physically the top half of the menu is where all the appetizers and tapas style, small plates live. It is so non steak house, and I think that is where the fun of 43 Church comes out,” says George. “Yes we can offer a great and exciting steak house experience but the fun comes through with the tapas, the charcuterie, the flatbreads and the croistini. So all of that stuff makes it a lot more fun and maybe you don’t even know it is a steak house in the end. That was the thinking behind the new concept.”
Another goal for the new restaurant is that hopefully a younger crowd will be drawn to the warm ambiance, the irresistible food and the incredible bar.
“We are gearing our latest feel of the place towards younger people because they haven’t been here. They have passed us by for some of the younger establishments in Salem and we feel like we can be a place where young people can have a great time.”
However, George wants everyone that walks through the restaurant doors, regardless of age and gender, to feel welcome. So whether it is a date night, drinks after work or a casual drop in, 43 Church is definitely worth a visit, maybe even two or three.