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Need help choosing a bar/restaurant north of boston

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I'm looking for a venue for a surprise 30th birthday party. We'll probably have about 10-15 people but it doesn't necessarily need to be a private space. I'm looking for a place with a large bar area anywhere from Andover to Lowell to Bedford.

Thanks in advance for any recommendations!

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  1. I've been to this place in Haverhill and the food was fantastic.

    http://www.josephstrattoria.com/menup...

    3 Replies
    1. re: mcel215

      What relation, if any, does this have to Joseph's Gourmet Pasta?
      http://www.josephsgourmetpasta.com/

      1. re: almansa

        Same logo, but I have never heard of them.

        1. re: almansa

          They're both owned by the same family - at least they were, until a few years ago.

          Joseph's used to be a wholesale pasta and bread business in a little building on Route 97 in Haverhill, with a retail bakery in the front. About fifteen years ago, they outgrew that location, and moved the business into a factory building in an industrial area of Haverhill known as Ward Hill. In the new location, they added a restaurant to the retail bakery.

          When the restaurant first opened, it looked like they had simply plopped down a bunch of tables and chairs in the bakery. They have since remodeled to downplay the bakery area, and make it look like a real restaurant. It's a pretty good restaurant, though perhaps a little pricey both for what they serve, and the area.

          They had a second location of the restaurant in North Hampton NH, which folded perhaps five years ago. The wholesale business, though, has grown by leaps and bounds, ultimately establishing a national presence. It was sold to Nestle's a few years ago. The family still owns the restaurant (AFAIK).