Former Allechante Location Has New Eatery: Norwich Square Cafe

Former Allechante Location Has New Eatery: Norwich Square Cafe

Norwich — A new cafe and bistro has opened in the space previously occupied by Allechante, filling a gap in town left when its sole cafe closed more than a year ago.

Norwich Square Cafe is owned and operated by Lebanon residents Priscilla Gosselin, her son, Brent Gosselin, and his wife, Fausta Gosselin. Priscilla Gosselin, who has been behind the push to restore fountains in Lebanon, formerly co-owned the Bean Gallery cafe in Lebanon, where Salt hill Pub is now located.

Brent Gosselin said the opportunity for the family to get back into the cafe business came about by happenstance recently when he met one of his brothers for lunch at the Norwich Inn, went for a walk, and noticed a “for rent” sign on the door of a vacated storefront in the cluster of buildings that is home to the Norwich Bookstore, Norwich Wine and Spirits, gift boutique Zuzu’s and the Norwich Post Office.

“I contacted the owner, they told me what they were looking for,” said Gosselin, whose moved back to the Upper Valley last year after living in Rome for five years , where he met Fausta, an architect. As it turned out, the owners, Jane Osgood and Ted Hilles, were hoping to find another cafe-type operator who would offer a the kind of menu that would fit with the property’s carefully maintained setting.

For that, Brent Gosselin brings a suitable background: After graduating from Lebanon High School, he studied at the New England Culinary Institute, received his sommelier certification, managed restaurants in New York City, and worked in the wine department at the Hanover Co-op. He got his start in the restaurant business at age 14, washing dishes and busing tables at Lander’s Restaurant near the Miller Auto Volkswagen dealership on Route 120 in Lebanon.

Gosselin is the nephew of James Gosselin and the late Thomas Gosselin, former owners of Kleen Laundry and Dry Cleaning, which the family sold in 2006.

Brent Gosselin said that, despite the word “cafe” in Norwich Square Cafe’s name, the emphasis will be on the “bistro-y” side of the menu more than the patisserie and coffee side. “We’re going to be more about the food,” which he said would of necessity be “quick serve” because of limited seating capacity and kitchen facilities.

Osgood, who bought the 16,700-square-foot Norwich Square commercial site with her husband in 2013, said they were pleased to have Norwich Square Cafe as a tenant because it “gives an added dimension” to the group of shops in the complex.

The cafe will be open Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Author: John Lippman Valley News Business Writer

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