A husband and wife from Bar Harbor have bought a waterfront building in downtown Stonington with plans to open a new restaurant.
The building at 27 Main St. most recently housed Acadia House Provisions, which closed in January 2022 after nearly three years in business, and the noted restaurant Aragosta before that. New owners Laura and Erik Johnson together have more than 45 years of experience in the food service industry ranging from catering events to fine dining and fast casual settings.
The Johnsons own and operate the seasonal Mainely Meat BBQ Dreamwood Hill restaurant on Route 3 in Bar Harbor. The Johnsons, along with business partner Michael Brennan, intend to reopen the former Acadia House Provisions space as 27 Fathoms Waterfront Grille.
“We are excited to start over the winter with occasional pop-ups and take advantage of the off-season to get our feet wet and plan for the 2024 season,” Laura Johnson said in a prepared statement. “We love Stonington and look forward to becoming a part of the year-round community.”
The sale price for the property was not disclosed. It was listed for just under $1.2 million. The Johnsons secured a mortgage loan of $715,000 from Machias Savings Bank to allow them to purchase the property, according to paperwork on file at the Stonington town office. It is assessed by the town at $324,000.
The building, with a large outdoor deck overlooking the harbor, previously housed two well-known restaurants.
Ryan McCaskey, a longtime summer resident of Stonington, opened Acadia House Provisions in the space in 2019 as a spinoff of his Maine-inspired restaurant Acadia in Chicago, which received a two-star rating in the prestigious Michelin Guide. McCaskey leased the property from the previous owner — Colorado-based Nereus Investments — which bought it in 2003.
McCaskey came under fire in 2020 in Chicago by former employees who accused him of harassment and fostering a toxic work environment. The dispute ended up in court in Chicago and contributed to McCaskey’s decision to shut down his restaurant there in the fall of 2021.
Eater reported in December 2020 that McCaskey moved full time to Maine after the allegations against him became public. McCaskey’s parents, who live in the Chicago area, have owned a summer home in Stonington since 1994, according to records on file at the Hancock County Registry of Deeds.
Prior to Acadia House Provisions, the space housed Aragosta, which relocated to Goose Cove Road in neighboring Deer Isle. Aragosta’s owner and head chef, Devin Finigan, was nominated for a James Beard Award in 2020.