SALEM, N.H. – A tumultuous year for the restaurant industry isn’t slowing two local friends on a mission to grow their brand.

Crack’d Kitchen and Coffee – with a flagship location in Andover – will open Monday at 327 South Broadway, in Salem, New Hampshire.

Co-owners Alan Frati, of Salem, and Danny Azzarello, of North Andover, describe their rise from teenage dish-washers to corporate restaurant management. Now 35 and 38, they’re at the helm of their own endeavor.

The idea for Crack’d was born in 2017, they say, as the duo sought the perfect breakfast sandwich.

“And we expanded the idea from there,” Azzarello said. “We ended up with Crack’d, a chef-driven, fast, casual restaurant.”

Doors opened in Andover at the end of March 2019. Frati says it was clear shortly after that it was time to bring the business across the border into New Hampshire.

“We wanted to be part of this reemergence of business in Salem,” he said. “You have the Tuscan project happening nearby and business is booming in the whole town.”

According to Azzarello, Crack’d is special in its open design concept and deep local ties.

“You can see what’s going on back in the kitchen,” he said. “All of that is intentional and goes back to our founding principles of keeping it simple, doing the right thing and operational excellence.”

Many employees are Salem High students or grew up in the area, he said. Head chef Zach Warren is a graduate of the Southern New Hampshire University culinary program.

Starting April 19, the Salem location will be open 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Sunday hours will be 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Take-out and dine-in are both options. 

Online ordering, which has become a mainstay in recent months, will continue.

Though Crack’d breakfast sandwiches have earned a reputation – the Andover location is said to go through 130 dozen eggs each week – the menu features more.

Bowls, plates, toast, greens and grains are all included. Frati says local ingredients are often highlighted.

“Sauces and dressings are made in house,” he said. “We get our coffee from Hometown Coffee Roasters, in Manchester.”

The co-owners say they’re thankful for the support from customers, especially through the pandemic, allowing them to stick to their vision.

“It’s all about growth and getting better,” Azzarello said. “We never want to get stagnant. And that’s why we’re so excited to open here.”

Plans are in the works for a third Crack’d Kitchen and Coffee location in Peabody at the end of this year.

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