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Hampton restaurant reopened after fire

The Naughty Pine burned down in May 2017. In its place, owners Eric and Michelle Johnson built Meric's Woodfired Oven and Tavern. Kelsey Roy / RiverTown Multimedia1 / 2
The new menu at Meric's features a wide range of classic and unconventional pizzas, as well as the ability to build your own. Submitted Photo.2 / 2

HAMPTON — A Hampton restaurant is open after burning down last year.

Meric's Woodfired Oven and Tavern, previously known as the Naughty Pine, celebrated its grand opening on Oct. 19 after burning down in May 2017.

The owners, Eric and Michelle Johnson, announced their new plan for the business and broke ground this past July.

"It's been great — a big change. Having the food be the main focus has been a big change," Eric Johnson said.

The restaurant now features a woodfire oven that cooks everything, and all of the food is made from scratch, according to Johnson. The husband and wife team decided to make the food even more special by partnering with local butchers to get their meat, including a specially made sausage.

The menu primarily features pizza along with some traditional small plates like wings and giant pretzels.

"The pizza dough is our own recipe. We played around with it until we found the right one," Johnson said. "We didn't have any real culinary experience, but we get a ton of response on how good the pizza is. I am proud of that."

The menu also includes a long list of draft beers and other drinks, as well as a couple of sweet desserts.

According to Johnson, however, their unconventional pizzas are all the rave with customers.

"One of our popular ones is the Belmont," Johnson said.

The pizza has mozzarella, smoked chicken, bacon and diced tomatoes with a drizzle of pesto.

Another unconventional pizza that Johnson suggests is the Porkie Pie. The pizza includes garlic, mushrooms, sausage, bacon, basil, mozzarella and a special drizzle of chili honey.

The Johnsons were able to create the whole menu by drawing inspiration from their travels.

"We visited as many places as possible — pulling little bits from here and there. We went to a lot of restaurants and ate a lot of food," Johnson said.