Scarborough restaurant scene adds BBQ, seafood, beer

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SCARBOROUGH — Several new dining options are opening in town, including a barbecue restaurant, the expansion of a food truck business, and the town’s first brewery. 

Garage BBQ will be in the former Conroy’s Garage and Conroy’s Oil Service at 3 East Grand Ave. in Pine Point. 

Owner Susan Clough said she hopes to launch the restaurant in the first two weeks of May, and will operate it seven days a week, opening at 11 a.m.

Clough said the 100-seat restaurant and takeout will serve ribs, pulled pork, brisket, chicken, smoked sausage, and barbecued sandwiches, along with small plates including cornbread, calamari, chicken wings.

She said there will also be a line of salads and other vegetarian-friendly options, such as deep-fried Brussels sprouts.

The fourth-generation lobstering family has owned the Bayley’s Lobster Pound property for more than 100 years, and also opens Emma’s Eats at Pine Point Beach in the summer.

Her family knows the area quite well, Clough said, and “we believe it is underserved with restaurants.”

Shade

Shade, at 34 Ocean Ave., is the new restaurant at Higgins Beach Inn, which was acquired by Migis Hotel Group in December.

Phil Kronenthal, director of operations at Migis, said Shade will be an 80-seat casual restaurant, with 45 seats indoors and protected patio seating for 35. 

Kronenthal said the menu will feature locally sourced, fresh seafood, including Maine lobster and raw oysters that celebrate “what we have to offer in Maine.”

Kronenthal said the new owners know the inn has been part of the community since 1920, and have revitalized the space and upgraded it structurally, with new plumbing and wiring. The restaurant has been made “viable and safe, so it can continue on as part of the community” for at least another century, he said.

According to Kronenthal, managers are hoping to open the restaurant and hotel by June 1, but plan to have invitation-only dinners during a soft opening prior to June.

The restaurant will be open seven days a week for breakfast and will reopen at 3 p.m. daily for light fare, bar service, cocktails and dinner until 8:30 or 9 p.m. Shade will not stay open late in respect to the surrounding neighborhood, Kronenthal said, but plans to be open until the end of October and reopen in time for Mother’s Day. 

Bite into Maine

South Portland husband-and-wife team Sarah and Karl Sutton launched the Bite Into Maine food truck in 2011 in Cape Elizabeth’s Fort Williams Park, after they tried lobster rolls across the state and thought the variety was lacking.

“Our goal is the best lobster roll you ever had,” Sarah Sutton said. 

The couple will be opening Bite into Maine Commissary at 185 U.S. Route 1, where they will also be able to prepare offerings for their food trucks and service their fleet. 

Sutton said the 15-to-18-seat restaurant will feature table service, counter seating and take-out for “fast casual experiences.”

Sutton said the menu is still being developed, but in addition to the lobster rolls they are known for, there will be an expanded menu of lobster-centric food which could include lobster mac and cheese, and grilled lobster or crab sandwiches, along with house-made chowder.

An opening date has not been set, but the Suttons are aiming for early summer.

In addition to the food truck they operate at Fort Williams, the couple will be adding a larger Airstream food truck at Allagash Brewing Co., at 50 Industrial Way, Portland, Friday through Sunday to serve people at the brewery tasting room.

They said they hope to have the Portland food truck operating by mid-May.

Nonesuch River Brewing

Michael Schuler, Tim Boardman and Jeff Gambardella are in the midst of building Nonesuch River Brewing at 201 Gorham Road.

Schuler said as far as he knows, Nonesuch, with plans to open this summer, will be the first brewery in the history of Scarborough. 

The 5,000-square-foot restaurant, which includes an indoor mezzanine, a balcony and about 142 seats – 30 of which will be outdoors – will have four beers on tap, including an IPA, a red, an English pub-style bitter, and a blonde.

Schuler said the food menu will be seasonal, farm-to-table, chef-inspired, kicked-up pub cuisine.

“We are looking to be an alternative so people don’t have to drive into Portland to get something interesting,” Schuler said. “We all live here, we have all been active in the community, and we believe Scarborough needs another option for food. There is a market for this and we are hoping to fill the void.”

Melanie Sochan can be reached at 781-3661 ext.106 or msochan@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter @melaniesochan.

The Higgins Beach Inn in Scarborough will reopen this spring with a new restaurant called Shade.

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