In 1906, Arthur Pappas & Louis Canotas immigrated to America with their families from Elassona, Greece. They became US citizens, and on April 5, 1917, they opened an ice cream & candy shop at 57 Hanover Street in Manchester, NH. A year later, they added a restaurant to their Hanover Street location and then in 1919, they opened a restaurant at 897 Elm Street.
1936 - They opened a roadside stand on Second St. (where McDonald's currently stands today). There were also other Puritan restaurants in Concord, NH; Portland, ME; and Lawrence, MA, as well as another one in Manchester (where the Valley Street plaza currently stands). Also in 1936, Mr. Pappas and Mr. Canotas had the foresight to purchase the property on the current location at Daniel Webster Highway North in Manchester. After purchasing this land, an area among the trees was cleared, and the ground-breaking began to set foundation for the Puritan's new ice cream stand.
1938 - The new ice cream stand on Daniel Webster Highway opened for business with no one ever envisioning what it would become today.
1954 - The modernization and expansion of the Daniel Webster Highway location took place to allow for the manufacturing of their famous ice cream on premises as well as the candy shop to be relocated here.
1967-69 - In January 1967 one of the two original owners, Louis Canotas, passed away. The following year, the second generation took over the Puritan business. Charlie Pappas, Plato Canotas and Milton Canotas continued the hard working ways of their fathers. In December 1968 the last original owner, Arthur Pappas, passed away. Also that month, the Puritan on Elm Street was sold to Deering Ice Cream. In 1969, the candy shop on Hanover Street was phased out, which allowed the new generation to concentrate their activities solely on the Daniel Webster Highway location.
1970-89 - In October 1970, the Puritan Front Room was opened and as many of you remember, it was a great place to meet friends for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Soon after the Puritan Front Room opened, the owners decided to create a new atmosphere by adding an additional room in the back of the new restaurant. In February 1974, this new room was opened and called the Puritan Backroom. The Puritan Backroom attracted additional customers since it had more to offer than the Front Room. The menu was expanded, liquor was served, and this full-service dining room became a hit to greater Manchester residents from the day it opened. For the next 15 years, the Puritan consisted of the Front Room and the Backroom.
1989-91 - In February 1989, the Front Room closed, making way for new banquet facilities. On May 31, 1989, the opening of the Puritan Function Rooms, namely the Pappas Room & the Canotas Room, was celebrated. In March 1990, Milton Canotas passed away. In June of that same year, the business was purchased by the third generation. Arthur Pappas continued the legacy of his father and grandfather. His partners were Andy Statires (his sister Karen's husband) and Chuck Stergiou (Andy's first cousin). One of their desires was to bring back a place where their loyal customers could enjoy Puritan's famous homemade ice cream again. On Memorial Day weekend in 1991, they opened up the Puritan Ice Cream & Takeout section in the front of the building. This made many customers extremely happy since they could enjoy one of the Puritan's 38 flavors of ice cream and could also bring home any item from the Backroom's famous dinner menu as well as the Takeout menu.
1992 - In July, Charlie Pappas passed away. Plato Canotas, the lone survivor from the second generation continues to grace the Puritan with his presence. While opening up every morning, he performs many kitchen prep duties such as cutting the haddock and scrod for the day, but most importantly, his presence brings smiles to the faces of the many long-time employees.
1995 - In August, Andy and Karen Statires left the Puritan to start their own restaurant, leaving Arthur Pappas and Chuck Stergiou to run the business. Pam Goode, Arthur's sister, assumed the managerial duties to fill the void from Andy's departure.
1996 - A breakfast menu was added to the Puritan Ice Cream & Takeout section. In addition to the fresh hot coffees, many of the old Front Room regulars were excited with the return of the famous coffee rolls as well as the grilled muffins, toasted bagels, egg sandwiches, pancakes, French toast, and omelets.
1997 - On April 1, the Puritan Backroom, Puritan Function Rooms and Puritan Ice Cream & Takeout became non-smoking facilities. Many thought that the Backroom business would suffer, but in addition to the loyal, regular customers, the fresh, smoke-free atmosphere has attracted additional new customers. Also, M.J. Canotas, Milton's son, assumed part-time managerial duties in addition to bartending.
1999 - On February 11, the Puritan Backroom celebrates its 25th Anniversary. On June 1, the building next door was purchased to provide additional parking for our customers.
2002 - New state-of-the-art conference center added in our building next door.
2006 - Christopher Pappas becomes the first fourth generation to enter the business. On July 12th, Plato Canotas, the last remaining member of the second generation passes away. Our two banquet rooms in this building, the Pappas Room and the Canotas Room get upgraded with new carpeting, flooring, wallpaper, chairs, paintings and stained glass windows.
2007 - To celebrate the Puritan's 90th anniversary, the dining room receives a major facelift. Two new elegant, handicapped-accessible bathrooms are added. Also, new carpeting, wallpaper, stained glass windows, chandeliers, hostess station, ceilings and wait stations are added. Customers have raved about the new decor.
2010 - On February 1st, our customers are now able to get Wireless Internet in the dining room, function rooms and takeout section.