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Our Story

Family Owned

Located on the quaint strip of shops in downtown Durham, New Hampshire, Ciao Trattoria and Wine Bar is a family Italian restaurant for not only Durham and the Seacoast, but for Greater New England and parts beyond.  Owned by long time Durham residents Doug and Kim Clark, Ciao Trattoria and Wine Bar's singular purpose is to bring people together over the simple bounties of the Italian table during these troubled times. 

As the coronavirus pandemic ravaged the world, restaurants everywhere have had to reinvent themselves to meet the demands of a changing customer base.  The white tablecloth restaurant with its often overpriced and esoteric fare has been particularly affected by the pandemic.  What people want right now is comfort, familiarity, value and to feel a part of the rebuilding of the human spirit.  That's what the Clarks and the rest of the team at Ciao Trattoria want for our guests as well.  And that's exactly why we pivoted from the fine dining model of Ciao Italia to the less formal concept of Ciao Trattoria and Wine Bar.  

We understand that safety, value and comfort are the three most important concepts to the restaurant consumer right now and that's why Doug & Kim reimagined the beautiful space and aesthetic of the restaurant.  It's all about bringing people together over food and nurturing, pure and simple.


We hope to see you and your family soon.  



Doug & Kim Clark


Longtime Durham resident Doug Clark met his future wife, Dover resident, Kim Brennan, in the mid-1980’s when he opened Benjamin’s Restaurant in Durham.  In the early 90’s, ready to transition out of restaurants, Doug sold Benjamin’s and started a prolific and rewarding career as Chief Innovation Officer for Timberland footwear company, before creating New England Footwear in 2008.  

After years of working and managing restaurants, Kim Clark ventured into education and spent years as a high school teacher and counselor at local schools.  She then taught in the University of New Hampshire Economics Department before becoming the Director of Career Services at the UNH Peter T. Paul College. 

With the restaurant business still in their blood, it was only a matter of time before they found their way back to it. Doug always looked at the restaurant business as his “retirement plan”.  In 2018 the couple created Clark’s Restaurants LLC. and set about creating inviting restaurant spaces that serve the community they’ve called home most of their lives. 

The goal of Ciao Trattoria and Wine Bar is to create an exciting, yet relaxed environment where the community can come together and enjoy Italian-inspired food and wine, with exceptional friendly service, in a fun setting.  

Doug and Kim also operate Clark’s American Bistro under the Clark’s Restaurants LLC brand.  Both restaurants are found in the heart of downtown Durham. 

The couple raised their two children, Ali and Kenzie, in Durham and still reside there, a stone’s throw from both restaurants, today.    

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