A guide to living local in New Hampshire

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48 Main Café

Keeps Vibe Laid-Back and Personal

By Stacy Milbouer / Fiddlehead Contributing Editor

It’s so nice when a third place – a community gathering spot – also has great food and drink that everyone from vegans and vegetarians, to carnivores and the gluten-sensitive can enjoy.

48 Main Café & Creperie on 48 Main St. in Meredith is one of those places.

A mini art gallery showing the talent of locals serves as decoration on the walls. A comfy coffee bar and a fireplace lends a “Cheers” feeling with a little library, comfortable seats and free Wi-Fi. The post-and-beam ceiling is evidence of the building’s 19th-century pedigree.

On a recent visit, Kelly Chapman and Maleia Raymond were sipping coffee and tasting crepes around a small table. They were also interviewing a woman named Amy for a job as a massage therapist.

Chapman owns the other business in the building, the Meredith Whole Living Center, and finds the atmosphere at the café has a “laid-back vibe. Everybody here knows your name. We’re a community in this building that is connected to the community at large.”

Chapman and Raymond said if they have events that are too big to accommodate at their business, they’ll hold them in the café.

“They always say yes, and they’ll even stay open past their hours to accommodate us,” says Chapman.

“They’re generous with their time and resources and very active in our Main Street group.”

The café, which has been open for about a year, is run by Jared White and is owned by his mother and stepfather – Patricia and John Basiliere, proprietors of the Black Swan Inn in Tilton. It offers local roasted coffee and teas, fresh ingredients for one-of-a-kind sweet and savory crepes, local bagels, gluten-free and vegan options as well as welcoming atmosphere, including outdoor seating in the warm months.

And unlike so many chain hipster cafés, 48 Main draws visitors and regulars of all ages. On a recent late winter weekend, there were children sharing blueberry and honey crepes with their mom; senior citizens reading in a quiet corner with hot cups of hot chocolate; teens and millennials working on laptops; and neighbors catching up with local news over the café’s signature Thai Sunrise Bowl.

Regular customer Damian (he didn’t wish to share his last name) was staked out in “his” corner with a hot Americano and his open laptop.

“This place is less formal than a restaurant, but it’s not impersonal like a Starbucks,” he said. “The servers bring your coffee to you. You can be alone but at the same time feel like you’re in an intimate and personal place.”