Downtown Keene will regain a locally owned bar and restaurant when 21 Bar & Grill reopens in the next few weeks under new ownership.
Elizabeth “Beth” Wood, who previously worked for 11 years as a manager at 21, and her husband Matt “Woody” Wood, bought the bar at 21 Roxbury St. from Dave and Holly Barrett, who also own Kilkenny Pub.
“We had always been in talks with them about wanting to buy 21 when they were ready to sell 21,” Beth Wood said. “And then when COVID started up, I think it kind of speeded up the talks. So, we ended up buying it at the end of April.”
Since then, the Woods, both Keene State College alumni, have remodeled the bar’s interior, including the bathrooms and kitchen, along with painting the main dining area and renovating the back patio. Other than that, though, they don’t plan to change too much when 21, which has been closed since mid-March, reopens.
“Twenty One had a really good thing going,” Beth Wood said. “We had great customers that came in, we have a really good staff.”
She added that 21 is in the process of rehiring all 15 of its employees who were furloughed when New Hampshire ordered all bars closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Woods don’t have a specific opening date in mind yet, but plan to begin with a soft opening.
“We want to play it safe at first,” Beth Wood said. “So we’ll probably do something silent, and then we’ll do a grand opening.”
When 21 does reopen, its hours will be 3 to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday. Brunch service will start at 9 a.m. on the weekends. The bar will remain open until 11 p.m. on Saturdays and 3 p.m. on Sundays.
“We’re excited to finally open the doors again,” said Beth Wood, who also works as Keene’s downtown coordinator, a public-private partnership through the city and the Monadnock Economic Development Corp. designed to market the Main Street area.