HAMPTON — Across the street from the Goat where Bloody Marys are poured and pancakes are piled high on Saturday mornings, a greener breakfast is now being served up by the same owner.
The Green Room, which opened last week at 142 Ashworth Ave., is offering a slew of smoothies, smoothie bowls, coffees, pastries and sandwiches. Owner Al Fleury, who also owns the Goat, Wally’s Pub and Bernie’s Beach Bar, said his new venture brings a nutritious menu he believes is lacking at the beach, known for walk-up fried dough and pizza joints.
The project is spearheaded by Fleury’s wife, Erica, who he said is “infinitely more health conscious” than himself.
“I just didn’t see that there was anything quite like it on the beach,” said Erica Fleury. She described the Green Room, decorated with tropical décor, as giving a beach-surfer vibe. The Fleurys say their shop is so dedicated to serving fresh food that it does not have a freezer, food served fresh each day.
Pastries are delivered daily from Andyman Dessert & Bakery in Amesbury, Massachusetts. Eggs are cooked fresh, and iced coffee is also poured from a draught system.
Al Fleury purchased the building a couple years ago, the space previously a convenience store called Studio Market. He intended to open up a late-night walk-up eatery there comparable to Gilley’s in downtown Portsmouth, but the town opposed the hours Fleury proposed that extended beyond 1 a.m. when the bars close.
He had purchased a small bus and placed it inside the restaurant so customers could walk up to the front of the vehicle, where employees would serve food out the front where the windshield would be.
Once that proposal was rejected, the Fleurys kicked around a few ideas for the space before he and his wife settled on the idea of a smoothie-centric place.
Initially, the Fleurys banked on customers warming up to the smoothies over time and relying on coffee and bagels during the first several weeks. The smoothies and smoothie bowls have surprisingly taken off, Erica Fleury said, and the shop has already developed some regulars.
Smoothie bowls are similar to smoothies but have a thicker sorbet-like consistency, made up of granola and fresh fruit and toppings like peanut butter and Nutella drizzle.
The van is still inside the shop, now part of the décor and waiting to be painted. Erica Fleury said the van will be used eventually, a special announcement on that use coming in the next several weeks.