ELLSWORTH, Maine — The city is getting a couple of new eateries this month but also has lost two in recent weeks.
Last weekend, a barbecue joint named Mainely Meat BBQ became the newest addition to Ellsworth’s Main Street restaurant scene. The restaurant, which is located in a building near the post office, officially opened on Sunday and serves lunch and dinner seven days a week.
A family-run business, Mainely Meat BBQ operates seasonally in two other locations: a stand-alone restaurant and an eatery at Atlantic Brewing Co., both in Bar Harbor. Laura Vandiver owns the new Ellsworth restaurant as well as the stand-alone restaurant on Route 3.
Vandiver said adding the location in Ellsworth will enable family members and other Mainely Meat employees to work through the winter months.
“We wanted someplace year-round,” Vandiver said when asked why the family chose to open in Ellsworth.
Mainely Meat joins at least eight other small, independent restaurants, cafes or other eateries located on lower Main and adjacent streets.
On High Street, meanwhile, work crews are busy converting the former Friendly’s restaurant into a Governor’s Restaurant and Bakery. Randy Wadleigh, COO and president of the Old Town-based chain, said Monday that they hope to open on Monday, April 23. The Friendly’s closed down in October last year.
Two other eateries in Ellsworth have closed down recently.
Hillfire Grill, which occupied a prominent location on Route 3 near Walmart, Darling’s Auto and the now closed Lowe’s store, abruptly closed about a week ago, apparently because of slow economic conditions. The sign outside the 3-year-old restaurant thanked customers for their patronage and ended with the statement, “Closed Forever.”
Karen’s Cafe, which shared space in Maine Coast Mall alongside Mr. Paperback, closed early last month after Mr. Paperback’s owners announced they were shuttering all 10 bookstores around Maine.