In July, owner Ben Hodgetts opened Bar Harbor’s huge patio for fans of alfresco beering. Now his Maine meets Pacific Northwest restaurant officially opens today in the 400 Fairview building. And yes, there will be legit lobster rolls.
Long before his seven-year run at Matt’s in the Market as a barkeep and wine director, Hodgetts was in his home state of Maine “from kindergarten to college.” Now, he’s pulling influences from both coasts for Bar Harbor, or in full: Bar Harbor FinestKind Provisions. On the menu, this translates to New England clam chowder, East and West Coast–formed oysters, and of course Maine lobster–stuffed rolls. They’re served Maine style with mayonnaise, Connecticut style with butter, or New England style with mayonnaise, celery, and chive. There’s also a Dungeness crab roll for good PNW measure. The rolls are baked in Kent to Hodgett’s specifications: split top, soft white New England–style roll with a Wonderbread-like texture; dense enough for a pile of crustacean meat.
Fellow Matt’s alumna chef Lindsey Hayter further rounds out the menu with a selection of charcuterie, pickled accoutrements, lobster and heirloom tomato salad, and an intriguing cheeseburger tartare made with cheddar, lettuce, and special sauce.
Pun aside, you can belly up to Bar Harbor’s bar. Its shiplap-covered facade was a “labor of love”, individually hand painted in Hodgetts' own garage. Here, you can sip on a local brew. On its six taps right now: two Holy Mountain styles, an IPA from Counterbalance Brewing, and more from Lower Case, Stoup, and Reuben’s. Or, get one of their Miir-designed stainless steel growlers and take your beer to go. Also for takeaway: bottled beer and natural wines from a gray shingled beer shack/refrigerator beside the bar.
Beyond beer, Hodgetts has curated a global wine list while cocktails are inspired by the Northeast Atlantic. One made with vodka, Campari, grapefruit, rosemary, and orange bitters is named for Maine’s Acadia National Park. Another called “Remember the Maine” is both a nod to the sunken ship and a 1930s born beverage made with rye, sweet vermouth, cherry, and absinthe.
Bar Harbor is open from 4 to 10, with the oyster bar likely up and running later this week. Keep tabs on updates like a forthcoming lunch service on the restaurant’s website.