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Sep 16, 2009 07:07 AM

City Flame BBQ Closed ?

Heard from a friend that City Flame BBQ in Manchester has closed . First Sausage Heaven, then this . City is cursed I tell ya....

Anyone know anything ?

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  1. I called their number and the message states they have closed due to the poor economy.

    1. This is upsetting to me on a few different levels. First, I wanted to try their bbq spaghetti, however, that opportunity is now lost. You may say why didn’t I go before, but I live an hour away and the timing, well let’s just say I don’t have a lot of time. The second thing is that I wonder if it really was the economy or the location? How are places like the Hanover Street Chophouse, 900 Degrees or Milly’s Tavern doing? I think Manchester may have a lot of unique restaurants, but most of the ethnic places are patronized by their respective ethic groups or us “foodies” and not so much by others. You would think by this point authentic bbq would be relatively “mainstream” for a city like Manchester, but I’m afraid that’s just not the case. I could never get why Sausage Heaven closed though, so I would exclude them from the “cursed” city theory. I’m sure if a quality place like City Flame were to have opened in Portsmouth, it may have fared better. There’s a few sub-par bbq places there and those places appear to be doing fine.

      1 Reply
      1. re: bewley

        I don't think Manchester is "cursed'--look at the popularity of Mint Bistro, which just opened. BBQ places tho--we've lost Down n Dirty, Premier Palette, and now Flame City. PP was on Elm Street, so it wasn't about location. Sausage Heaven decided to do mail-order and scaled back their retail food operation, which turned out to be a bad move. The Mexican joints seem to be thriving--Consuelo's was packed two days ago.

      2. I went to City Flame once last year for lunch. I thought that the food was pretty good especially their brisket and ribs. It's a shame that they have closed. Last Sunday I went with my cousins to KC's Rib Shack in Manchester NH.for lunch. Everyone thought that the food was delicious. I got the 4 meat platter; ribs, beef brisket, pulled pork and smoked sausage. The platter comes with 2 side orders and corn bread for $18.99. All of the meats were fork tender and very tasty. I didn't put any bbq sauce on the meats because they didn't need any. I will definately return to KC's Rib Shack.

        1 Reply
        1. re: buffet king

          Here is the information on KC's Rib Shack Barbecue: 837 2nd Street Manchester NH. 03102 (603)-627-7427 (RIBS). You can view their menu and directions at

        2. Took me till the last post to get a hint of where all of you are talking about, then I Googled it.

          A pet peeve of mine is Chowhound not having a way to identify the location of a place when you start a post or when you refer to a specific place. That puts the onus on all of us to add critical info within our posts.
          Please excuse me, but I'm somewhat new to NE and I need more info. There's a Manchester in all New England states except RI.

          1. Such a bummer, I really liked those folks too (and their food). I loved sausage heaven as well. and reallly loved Premier Palette. Who knows why they fail, except the numbers always speak loudly. They could have heavy loans, which doesn't allow them to float through the slow economy. It comes down to debits and credits/revenue and expenses sometimes and has nothing to do with their menu or how busy they are.

            2 Replies
            1. re: lexpatti

              I think the 'numbers' for a BBQ restaurant like City Flame / Down-n-Dirty are especially hard to make money on for a couple reasons as compared to traditional restaurants . First, they have to prepare the food well ahead of time and hope the business happens - it's not like throwing a burger patty on the grill or taking a tuna steak out of the reach in and searing it AFTER they know a customer will buy it. If business falls short, they can't reheat the same old Q too long or else quality - and word of mouth - suffers .

              Secondly, a place like KC ( or the chain place Famous Daves ) has a decent bar - and thus, the king daddy of restaurant profit centers - BOOZE . Neither D/D nor City Flame had this and I think this makes it harder for them to make money . This is certainly true of other BBQ places as well, but I think urban ones are probably more reliant on the beer/pub crowd than other places.

              City Flame lasted a little over two years . The first year the robust economy probably made getting loans easier and customers more willing to spend . The second year....chalk it up to bad timing. They probably didn't last long enough to get good word of mouth, and their location didn't afford much in the way of pedestrian traffic like Elm Street would - then again, I am sure their non Elm street rent was probably appealing when looking at costs .

              If you go over the website you'll see that BBQ places come and go all the time .

              1. re: Msample

                So true about the booze part too, I forgot about that. One of my fav BBQ places is in Somerville (Red Bones) and they have a hefty bar crowd which when hanging out long enough, also order food.