Kirk Linder, left, and Charlie Zorich opened Hey Sailor!, their new restaurant and bar in Searsport, in 2022. Abigail Curtis | BDN

Hey Sailor! in Searsport is expanding its current downtown space and adding a pizza kitchen and raw bar expected to open in June. 

The expansion will connect the current space with the next door space that last housed The Grasshopper Shop. It will include 50 additional seats and a stage for live music and more than double the restaurant space.

The popular restaurant opened in February 2022 and offers cocktails, tacos and fancy bar snacks in the quiet midcoast downtown. At the time, restaurateurs Charlie Zorich and Kirk Linder, who also own The Hichborn  in Stockton Springs, said they would eventually expand into the space.

“We’re just continuing to continue build on our gastropub, dive bar scene,” Zorich said

Zorich said construction and renovations began in December and should be complete in time to meet summer demand. Although the new space will be part of Hey Sailor!, Zorich and Linder have dubbed it Starboard Lounge. 

The restaurateurs have been sharing sneak peeks of the renovations on both their Hey Sailor! Instagram account and a new Starboard Lounge account, including a look at the emerging half-moon stage and a partial work-in-progress floor plan.

With the addition, the restaurant will seat 90 people. It will also take reservations for the first time, which Zorich said will help relieve pressure on Hey Sailor!’s smaller current dining space.

“We just want to serve more good food to more good people,” Zorich said.

Zorich said he’s excited to show the public their expanded menu, which will include brick oven baked pizza and a raw bar with locally sourced oysters.

“Maine is a place where you really can be part of a sustainable local food economy,” Zorich said.

While not everything on Hey Sailor’s diverse menu can be locally purchased, one of the couple’s main goals is to “highlight the best products in Maine that we can get our hands on,” Zorich said, whether it’s for the new raw bar or their farm-to-table menu at The Hichborn.

Hey Sailor! will also be hiring for eight new positions to staff the expanded space, bringing the couple’s total employment to around 50 workers between their two restaurants.

The couple purchased the 27 East Main St. property in November 2021. The town Planning Board approved the expansion on Feb. 13. It goes before the Searsport Select Board next Tuesday for a final stamp of approval.

As renovations at the Starboard Lounge continue, the couple is also preparing for The Hichborn’s opening on May 18 for its 2023 season.

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Braeden Waddell

Braeden Waddell is a reporter covering Belfast and Waldo County. He grew up in Waldoboro and joined the Bangor Daily News in 2023 after working as an associate producer for National Public Radio. He graduated...