The building that will be the home of the Whiskey River restaurant in Brewer. Credit: Gabor Degre

Local restaurateur Thomas Shanos announced last week that Whiskey River Smokehouse, his new barbecue restaurant, will open in late 2019 or early 2020, in a location adjacent to Brewer’s Riverwalk.

According to a post made last week on Whiskey River’s Facebook page, Shanos and his business partners are busy working on the new restaurant, which they say will serve barbecue, smoked foods, steaks, craft beer and cocktails and will feature live music each weekend.

Shanos, who also owns both Kostas Restaurant & Bar and High Tide Restaurant in Brewer, has spent more than a year working with engineers on plans to renovate and redesign the building at 95 South Main St., the former location of B&L Auto Parts, next door to the Sav-a-Lot grocery store.

D’arcy Main Boyington, Brewer’s director of economic development, said that property had been empty for more than a decade, and it took years to find the right tenant for it.

“The Riverwalk has generated a huge amount of interest from people who want to be located on the water, but that property needs a good amount of work,” Boyington said. “Luckily, this was the magic one that worked out for this site. It’s been empty for at least a decade, so we are thrilled to see it developed.”

Calls to Shanos on Monday were not returned, but Boyington said that work has already begun on the site and that the Brewer Planning Board will review the plans for the site at its next meeting. She said Shanos hopes to have Whiskey River open by the end of the year.

For more information, like Whiskey River on Facebook.

Emily Burnham is a Maine native and proud Bangorian, covering business, the arts, restaurants and the culture and history of the Bangor region.