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Soula Maloutas’ Concord, N.H. Gas Lighter Restaurant Forced Out

For 44 years, the Gas Lighter Restaurant in New Hampshire's capital of Concord has been a draw downtown, opened in 1977 by Soula Maloutas and her husband, but the building it's in has been sold to a bank, which could bring the end.

She has been running the restaurant for 21 years by herself after her husband passed away, with the same original menu and beloved recipes, said The Concord Monitor in a feature, Maloutas, 68, saying she's not ready to retire.

“We came here for the American dream,” she said. “And we did okay, until today – we’re still doing all right,” she told the paper, with the restaurant even surviving the COVID-19 pandemic and business about to get better with vaccinations and restrictions eased.

Maloutas is not sure when the Gas Lighter will have to close for the bank, but she hopes to receive advance warning, expecting it may come in September.

“For my whole life, I spent it here,” Maloutas said. Several customers have urged her to try and stay open. “Everybody’s so sad,” she said. “They’re looking for me to find a place.”

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