CANAAN–Some people think of it like an old friend who’s come back to town, having changed a bit for his travels. It’s the feel Joseph Massero, the new owner of the Backwater Bar & Grill, is shooting for. Under different owners and by different names, the restaurant/tavern that has occupied the site has been a local dining experience. Then it was vacant for two years until August 3, when the restaurant re-opened under the former Backwater name.
Tammy Flaherty, a life-long Canaan resident, was one hoping the restaurant would re-open. She has fond memories of what was then the Red Inn, where, as a young child, she would see friends and neighbors. “It was very family-oriented,” said Ms. Flaherty.
Apart from the Cottage and Crow’s Nest at Magpie, both on Route 295, the Backwater is the only other restaurant in town and the only one on the east end. Ms. Flaherty can recall when local residents had several restaurant/tavern choices, including the Queechy Lake Motel Restaurant, the diner at the B3 truck stop (most recently Lily’s), Poppy’s and the Pyrenees. In this economy where the threat of a double-dip recession looms, the fact and the timing of this re-opening is a pleasant surprise to people here.