Poor Richard’s gets fresh look for spring

Published 11:25 am Monday, February 17, 2020

Poor Richard’s in downtown Manteo was recently renovated. The 36-year-old restaurant was in need of a new back deck as well as upgraded furniture and a fresh coat of paint.

Owner Tod Clissold bought the restaurant in 1998; what is now the bar used to be an old radio station that Clissold was the sales manager for. Back then, the building across the street from Poor Richard’s served as the Manteo courthouse. With the bustling little town came a big breakfast crowd and lunchtime eaters.

Since the radio station moved out and the bar moved in, Poor Richard’s has become a popular spot for late-night bites and entertainment. Located right along Shallowbag Bay, this restaurant makes for a great place to sit by the water for lunch or dinner.

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Because of all this, along with the sixty years of wear and tear that the building itself has undergone, Clissold said the back deck “had to be redone.” “During New Year’s, we felt like having twenty-something people up there would be a little rickety,” he said.

Work on the deck began in mid-January and is set to be completed by the end of this week. The new deck is similar to the old one, with two stories and a waterproof coating. “We also repainted [the inside] and got all new furniture,” Clissold added.

The interior of Poor Richard’s s now livelier than ever, with a warm orange walls around the bar and sea-themed hangings in the dining room. Clissold said he has had the “ladderback chairs for a long time” that fill the dining room floors. With updated furniture, a fresh coat of paint and a brand-new deck, the restaurant is ready for a new season.

Clissold said his team tries to renovate every year, but not to this extent. “Next year we’ll probably just do a clean,” he mentioned.

Luckily for the restaurant owner, he has had a dependable long-term staff that knows the ins and outs of Poor Richard’s. “Many of my employees have been here for years,” he commented. “Ruth, who runs the register, has basically been here since day one.”

Although the decision was made a while back to do away with breakfast, Clissold said he may be bringing it back. “With a limited menu,” he added.

The bar is open seven days a week and the rest, Monday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 to 11 p.m. To learn more about Poor Richard’s, view their menu or check out their event schedule, visit www.poorrichardsmanteo.com.

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