Open Letter to Director The City in Portsmouth New Hampshire


Dear Tej,

Even on my worst day or my worst week at work, every time I hear you say, “Hello, my friend,” I pick myself up right away. I find myself anticipating your welcome before entering the store.

Without fail, every time I set foot in The City (Route 1) to pick up my weekend crafting four-pack, you greet me with a “Hello, my friend”.

When Gary’s Beverage (above) was taken over by The City, I was nervous.

I knew Gary’s – not The City. I liked supporting small businesses, not a branch of a big beer store. If I told you that right now, you’d laugh and shrug your shoulders.

The size of the store and the bright red paint job isn’t what makes The City successful, it’s you. You are a Portsmouth man who has adopted Portsmouth as his home. I’ve never seen you grumpy.

Maybe it’s because you’re smiling with your whole face and it’s clear you love what you’re doing – supplying our town with great local beer.

The greeting “Hello, my friend” quickly turned into a real friendship, and I am eternally grateful. When I look lost and amazed at the variety of local IPAs, judging what I drank based solely on the logo on the can, you’re always quick to point out your bestsellers of the week. You know I love my “extra juicy – extra hazy” IPAs.

My first time in the city, I asked you if you had any milkshake IPAs. You took me back to the beer cellar. Way back.

Eventually, you looked at me with your soft but full-faced smile and handed me a local Smuttynose milkshake IPA: “Shake Whatcha Mama Gave Ya, IPA.” You became my best friend then – what a beer.

The second time I walked in, you greeted me as usual, but then you asked me which breweries I liked. I told you Definitive Brewing Company. A sweet smile and a quick nod told me to follow you. You proudly showed me your final section; however, I was less than impressed. Again, I was craving a milkshake IPA.

The following week, the third time I entered, I did not see you first. I went to the definitive section of the store and there they were. Three different types of IPA Milkshake. You checked me out at checkout and said, “Here, my friend. That’s what you like, isn’t it?”

I don’t know if you’ll remember those specific interactions, but I do. They are etched in my memory with your kind smile full of face.

You really put the icing on the cake for me when you met my fiancé. You probably didn’t know she was with me. You had never met. It was Thanksgiving morning. I was shocked that you were working. You should have been home with your kids.

With puffy eyes, tired from the holiday rush, you saw my fiancé struggling to hold multiple four-packs. You ran outside, grabbed a cart, and loaded it up for her. You continued to walk around with her, helping to get the family only the best local IPAs… “extra juicy – ​​extra hazy”.

One thing you don’t know is how much your community and co-workers appreciate you, Tej.

Just recently I went for my crafting four pack weekend. You had a day off, finally. I asked, “Where’s my man, Tej?” to the two people at the checkout.

I never got an answer. Instead, my question was immediately answered with laughter and little anecdotes of interactions with you.

So, my friend, thank you.

Thanks for making me smile every time I pick up my weekend crafting four-pack. Thank you for sharing your positivity with me, your colleagues and everyone who comes to The City.

Your warm welcome and your meaningful gestures remind me why I love this city; because of good people like you.

Health my friends.

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