BRUNSWICK — Pat’s Pizza, the restaurant chain with 16 locations in Maine, will soon be open at 112 Pleasant St.
The newest franchise is taking over the former Ebenezer’s Brew Pub, which closed in August 2017.
Chris Kyle, who also owns the Pat’s Pizza in Yarmouth, said the idea of opening an eatery in Brunswick has been “in the planning for about five years.”
When the Pleasant Street building opened up, he said, the timing was right.
“We feel like it’s a great town to do business in,” Kyle said.
At the May 21 Town Council meeting, where Kyle was granted a liquor license, he said the original goal was to open Memorial Day Weekend, but he is now hopeful Pat’s will be open sometime in the first two weeks of June.
At the original restaurant in Orono and eateries in Portland, Augusta, Bar Harbor and Scarborough, Pat’s serves a mix of American and Italian food.
Pat’s menu in Portland’s Old Port, for instance, offers traditional bar food, such as potato skins and chicken tenders for appetizers, as well as entrees including lasagna, and fish and chips, and a variety of hot and cold subs and sandwiches.
As the name suggests, all Pat’s Pizza locations also serve many different kinds of pizza. In addition to typical toppings, the Portland location also serves funkier options such as Chicken Caesar Salad Pizza, Taco Pizza, and Quiche Pizza, which is topped with scrambled eggs.
According to the company’s website, the first Pat’s location was opened as Farnsworth’s Cafe in Orono in July 1931. And, although the late C.D. “Pat” Farnsworth is responsible for launching the business, Kyle’s family also has strong ties to it.
In an interview earlier this week, Kyle said his father “grew up” working at Pat’s, and went on to spearhead the franchising process for the restaurant.
“He’s the one that went and opened up all over the state, but we only own the one in Yarmouth, which has kind of become the flagship store,” he said.
Kyle described Pat’s Pizza as “an iconic thing” in Orono that took on a cult-like following in the college town. In recent years, however, Kyle said the Yarmouth Pat’s has become a key piece of the franchise.
He described the vibe of the chain as a “family dining and a sports bar atmosphere,” that has made for a welcoming feeling at the Yarmouth location.
“Yarmouth is like ‘Cheers,’ where you can walk in, you can go there by yourself, and then you’re there with your friends,” he said. “It’s very common in pubs and bars, but in Yarmouth that’s what happens.”
While the Brunswick restaurant will have the same menu as other locations, Kyle said expanding to the Mid-Coast is what’s new for Pat’s, and “there’s nothing really like (it)” in the area.
Dorothy Baxley, who has worked for Pat’s Pizza in Yarmouth for several years and will manage the front of the house in Brunswick, said the new spot is what Brunswick has needed since Pat’s Pizza closed on Main Street in Topsham approximately 20 years ago.
“When it left everybody was bummed,” she said. “Yarmouth is a 20-minute drive for most people, easy. Nobody wants to go all the way down there.”
Kyle added there has been a strong demand for Pat’s to come to Brunswick, and he and Baxley would get questions about when the chain would come to town “once a week.”
In addition to the bar and dining room, the Pleasant Street restaurant will offer enclosed outdoor seating – a carry-over from Ebenezer’s. But Kyle told councilors it would not be available right away.
Baxley said converting the old brew pub has been “lots of work,” and renovations have included extending the bar, remodeling the kitchen and dining area, and removing a glass atrium to make more room for large parties.
She already has 32 employees “ready to go,” she said, and is still hiring kitchen help.
Chris Kyle, owner of Pat’s Pizza in Yarmouth, and Dorothy Baxley, front-of-the-house manager, in the soon-to-open Pat’s Pizza at 112 Pleasant St. in Brunswick.
Pat’s Pizza will open at the former location of Ebenezer’s Brew Pub in Brunswick, which closed in August 2017.