aunders at Rye Harbor came into existence in the
1920's. Ben Saunders, a lobsterman and later Harbormaster began by selling his
catch. Eventually there was a fish market, then lunch counter and by the 1960's
a full restaurant operated by his daughter Dorothy and her husband Bail Tucker.
Saunders was a small family restaurant, open only during the summer, serving
lobster and a sirloin steak. There was no liquor served so guests brought their
own. Many of the residents of the large mansions along Rte. 1A at Little Boars
Head considered Saunders their second home. One of the frequent patrons was
Ogden Nash, the poet.
n 1972 after being closed for two summers due to
illness, Saunders was sold to Doug and Nancy Zechel. That first summer things
were much as they had been with two exceptions: a liquor license and the
beginning of the DECK. Working twenty hour days, seven days a week they learned
the business from Dorothy Saunders.
uring the winter of 1972/73 the present front of the
building was constructed housing the new kitchen, entry and lounge. The
business was still seasonal but continued to grow each year.
n 1976 the main dining room was added. The
deck expanded and business continued to flourish. Since then the deck has been
improved and expanded, the kitchen remodeled and Saunders is now open all year.
In addition to daily restaurant activities, Saunders has become one of the
Seacoast's finest locations for Wedding Receptions and private
oin us for lunch or
dinner, watch a sunset, and make this Seacoast Landmark a part of your dining