Allie’s Beach Street: A Season Of Change


Just about one year ago, I had the happy job of writing about Allie’s Beach Street Café in Manchester.  I was thrilled because they make killer food and I wanted everyone to know, and go, and love it as much as I do.

Before writing about the cafe, I had met Allie and Glenn, separately.  I found Allie to be so strong, capable, and wildly good at her job, but tough.  Glenn is also enormously talented and fantastic in the kitchen, but a total softie.  However, when I met with them together, I noted how they each grew closer to the other; Allie softened a bit and Glen felt settled.  Sitting with them you could feel the strength of their relationship.  How good they were for one another.  Partners.  In life.  In business.  They just are.  I once encountered the two of them out on a bike ride.  They looked like kids playing hooky.  They love to bike.  They love to be outside.  And you could see, clearly, that they love each other.  It was inspiring and felt good.

But things changed for Allie and Glenn this winter.  On Monday, February 21, Allie and her oldest daughter went to wake up Glenn to start the day following a long and crazy weekend that included Glenn’s mother’s funeral in New Jersey just before a very busy weekend at the cafe.  They found Glenn asleep and unable to respond.  They called an ambulance which took Glenn immediately to Addison Gilbert Hospital where they did a cat scan and discovered that Glenn was experiencing a massive stroke.  Allie says she was shocked as there were no previous signs or indications of any health issue at all. 

Glenn was transferred to Burlington Hospital’s Neuro Critical Care Unit where he underwent a decompressive craniectomy to reduce his severe brain swelling.  He was on a ventilator for several days following the surgery.  Additionally, he had other medical issues which required a number of smaller surgeries.  Glenn stayed at Burlington Hospital for 33 days before being transferred to an acute care rehabilitation facility, where he is now.  He spends three to four hours per day doing physical, occupational, and speech therapies. Despite all of this, Glenn has remained in very good spirits and is working incredibly hard at rehab.  He is still unable to communicate, which Allie says is the most devastating part, and is paralyzed on the entire right side of his body.  He is able to listen to music and watch tv.  Allie said that she can now take him outside to enjoy the sunshine and warm air, which has been wonderful.

So, what do we do?  I don’t really know.  Perhaps we all take a moment to close our eyes and send our love to Allie and Glenn.  Then, as we head into these gorgeous spring and summer days, do not take for granted our ability to fully appreciate them.  We can also support Allie and Glenn by continuing to enjoy the delightful food and welcoming space at the cafe.

Unbelievably, despite everything, the cafe has not skipped a beat and they have just added a few new items to lighten up the menu for spring and summer.  From Allie: For an appetizer, we have shrimp and avocado ceviche.  We also have Burrata with a sun-dried tomato purée and a basil purée.  For a salad, we have added the Nicoise salad back on the menu. For sandwiches, we have added a Caprese served on sourdough.  And then we always have new specials that are pretty creative like the pho or ramen.  We also do the bone-in pork chop and sautéed apples and onions.

As I have said before, Allie’s has some of the best (if not the best) food in Manchester.  They never disappoint.  Breakfast, lunch, dinner - coffee, tea, wine - hot, cold - French, German, New England.  They do it all - beautifully.  Now, more than ever, let’s not waste another minute.  Go.  Enjoy.  I’ll see you there.

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