The latest to add its alfresco watering hole to the burgeoning South Lake Union patio scene is Bar Harbor Finestkind Provisions. Ben Hodgetts, a Matt’s in the Market alumnus and Maine native, is readying his restaurant in the 400 Fairview building that will soon pair seafood specialties of his native state with local favorites. Meanwhile, the huge deck outside is open and pouring local brews.
This beer-filled walkup window will always have some Holy Mountain Brewery on tap, says Hodgetts, plus another one his favorites from the Portland-based Commons Brewery. Two other taps will rotate beers, likely crowd-pleasing styles such as the ubiquitous IPA or a lighter ale; right now those are the Fort George IPA and Pfriem pilsner.
There’s plenty of seating provided by three gloriously long-ass tables. And once Bar Harbor proper is open inside, patio goers can order from the full menu. “We’ll just bring it out and yell your name. That’s what they do at lobster shacks where I’m from,” says Hodgetts, “you know, they get some crazy-old PA system—as crinkly as you can get it.” No doubt folks will make damn sure they hear their name called, signaling their turn for legit lobster roll consumption is here.
Hodgetts says the Bar Harbor menu will consist of “coast-to-coast qualities,” as in your lobster roll will be made with a perfectly dense New England–style split top bread and stuffed with decidedly local Dungeness crab. He's even been recipe testing with a local bakery and fine tuning an ideal roll structure. He takes bread as seriously as Oprah loves eating it. Meanwhile, former Matt’s sous chef, Lindsay Hayter, will create a lineup of crudos, tartare, pickled goods, cured meats, and a couple of chowders, such as a corn chowder and a Rhode Island clear chowder made with broth from whole clams. Plus, oh yes, freshly shucked east and west coast–formed oysters.
The walkup is open from about 4 to 9. Stay tuned to Bar Harbor’s Instagram for updates on its indoor digs, set to open in two or so weeks. Bar Harbor is located at 400 Fairview, a mixed-use building that also houses the likes of Meat and Bread, Standard Bakery, and the forthcoming mBar.