The husband and wife team talk vision and giving back to the community in Portsmouth's popular West End
Michelle Lozuaway and Josh Lanahan opened STREET eat/drink 360 in 2011, bringing Vietnamese, Mexican, and Indian inspired eats to the Seacoast. A favorite of locals and tourists alike, STREET has been heavily featured in local news all the way up to Guy Fieri's Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. In 2017, Michelle and Josh brought three new stunners to Portsmouth's West End: STREET'za 360, b.Bar, and b'Zaar.
STREET'za puts a 360 spin on pizza
STREET'za 360 combines the international flavors of STREET with American pizza, on your choice of NYC style, cauliflower, or gluten-free crust. On our first visit, we sampled two pizzas, the Phil*osophy, a garlicky white pizza with caramelized onion, spinach, and three cheeses, and the 3 Pigs Go To Maui, a hot take on a classic Hawaiian with ham, pulled pork, bacon, BBQ sauce and grilled pineapple. We also tried one of STREET'za's five wing options, the spicy Chinese Pepper Chicken Wings.
The Oedi*pies Rex, a Greek gyro inspired pizza with roasted lamb, feta, tzatziki sauce finished with fresh mint, made my return visit (less than a week later, I couldn't stay away) a knockout with my dining partner. On both visits, I was struck by the dynamic flavor combinations Josh and Michelle created. Michelle says, “There’s no magic to it, it’s really just about rejecting the common.”
That's what STREET and STREET'za do best, and it sets STREET'za apart from any other pizza place on the Seacoast.
The b'Zaar and b.bar
The b'Zaar, which occupies the front section of STREET'za, currently offers fun STREET tees. Delivery service, including wine and beer delivered to your door, is also available. In the future, visitors can expect an international food market with prepped ingredients so you can create STREET favorites like bibimbap at home.
b.Bar, tucked away behind a partial wall in STREET'za, offers an upscale lounge experience. Rich in jewel tones and natural wood, this feminine-forward space is Portsmouth West End's best-kept secret. If you sit at the bar, take a look at the flower field by your knees first. Michelle worked with textile artist Courtney Belanger to give the bar its unique look and feel. Courtney Belanger also dyed the leather hides that grace the tables. For those concerned about leather, these are 30 or 40 year old hides that Josh’s stepfather had in his barn. “We’re big recyclers," Michelle says. “We’re upcyclers!” Josh adds.
Giving Back To The Community
Michelle and Josh's vision for their West Portsmouth businesses isn't just to bring fresh, inspired flavors to the Seacoast. They live their values of giving back to the community, and have some big plans for what that could look like going forward.
Farming For The Restaurant Table
Josh explains that while they've always grown vegetables and used everything they could in their restaurants, it just isn't possible to produce enough to support a restaurant like STREET at the price point diners expect. STREET goes through roughly 200 dozen eggs a week. "You couldn’t do that yourself unless you’re a chicken farmer," says Josh.
With b.Bar's smaller footprint and veggie-forward menu, plans to convert an existing barn on their Hampton Falls property into a cutting-edge solar greenhouse are on the horizon. The greenhouse project would be the first of its kind, extending the growing season to a full year while reducing traditional heating costs 80-90%.
In addition to the solar barn project, Michelle and Josh started a permaculture farm last year and all produce went to b.Bar and STREET. Restaurants producing their own food is a rising trend, and a natural step forward from the farm-to-table movement. It takes some uncertainty out of the situation for both the farmer and the restaurateur, Michelle explains. "The farmer can focus on farming, instead of selling." They're currently seeking a farmer and, Michelle adds, "It’s a sweet salaried position with potential to live on the property in our restored barn loft apartment and potential to grow with us over the years."
Supporting Seacoast Restaurant Workers
Michelle wants to start a fund to provide microloans to restaurant employees who need it. “My hope is that we can join forces with other restaurant owners and make it a really big fund for workers in the restaurant industry, so that when things like the State Street tragedy happen [a fire destroyed Portsmouth's State Street Saloon and restaurant workers' housing in March 2017], people who don’t have clothes or a home can borrow money interest free and get themselves back on their feet," she says.
In the meantime, restaurant workers can take advantage of STREET's Service Industry Night. Every Monday, STREET offers 50% off the bill to restaurant workers with a recent pay stub and ID.
STREET eat/drink 360, STREET'za 360, and b.Bar are located at 801 Islington St. Portsmouth, NH. STREET is open for lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday, 11:30am-9pm, and open Sundays from 10am-pm for brunch, 4-9pm for dinner. STREET'za is open Tuesday through Sunday 11am-9pm and offers delivery Thursday through Sunday from 3-9pm.