CAPE ELIZABETH — A popular Bowery Beach Road ice cream shop has a new owner and new name.
But patrons can rest assured the renamed Kettle Cove Creamery & Shack is still serving the same homemade, hard-serve ice cream that’s kept customers coming back summer after summer.
What has changed under Mike Concannon’s ownership is the food menu. After recently serving cafe cuisine, such as salads, sandwiches and coffee, the shop will now serve snack-shack treats – hot dogs, hamburgers, lobster rolls and clam cakes.
According to previous owner Mark Pendarvis, that was how the business ran when it first opened more than 40 years ago.
Concannon, who also owns C Salt Gourmet Market near the high school and Port Printing Solutions, said what the cafe offered was very similar to what customers could get at C Salt.
“We wanted to switch it to a more simple, beachy menu,” he said.
Now, customers can order food from a take-out window, similar to the ice cream side, rather than entering the building for counter service.
The ice cream operation reopened on Mother’s Day. Concannon said the plan was to have the take-out food window officially open for business on Monday, July 2.
Ice cream is sold from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. seven days a week, with food available from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Concannon said he hopes to extend the ice cream season past Labor Day and into early October.
The only other change customers can expect to see, he said, is to the exterior of the building, which has been painted blue and white with a giant ice cream cone, to look as it did when the business started.
When Pendarvis took over in 2005, the building was painted green with a mural of three mermaids.
“(Covering up the mermaids) is the one thing I’ve gotten flack for,” Concannon said with a laugh during a June 28 interview.
Otherwise, he said, everything has gone smoothly. He credited Pendarvis and the staff, who stayed on through the transition.
“Everyone who’s worked here before was asked to come back and most of them did, which is great,” Concannon said. “It’s made the transition much easier … They’re very well-trained.”
Pendarvis said he hadn’t been considering selling the business until Concannon approached him.
“I’m glad he did because it got me thinking,” Pendarvis said. “Mike is a wonderful guy, … He’s been successful and has a lot of good ideas and good enthusiasm. It just came down to it being the right person.”
The sentiment goes both ways.
“(Mark has) been fabulous to me,” Concannon said. “He answers any question and is a wealth of knowledge. He’s helped calm everyone’s nerves throughout the transition.”
Now, Pendarvis, who teaches Spanish at Cape Elizabeth High School, will have summers off to kick back and spend time with family for the first time in 13 years.
“I can finally take a step back … it’s nice to have time to think,” he said. “I was walking down the beach the other day and thought, ‘Wow, this is nice,’ but I can do that all the time now.”
Rather than passing the torch to a stranger, Pendarvis said he felt comfortable having Concannon take over.
“He’s a member of the community, so it’s nice that the business is really staying in the community,” he added.
Concannon was raised in Portland and moved back to the area after spending about 10 years in Maryland. He and his family have lived in Cape Elizabeth for about 13 years, during which, he said, they’ve spent most summer nights at the Kettle Cove Creamery.
“It’s such a nice business,” Concannon said. “All the kids in Cape want to work here and Mark has such a great reputation.”
Kettle Cove Creamery & Shack – previously Kettle Cove Creamery & Cafe – has changed its name, menu and appearance, but will continue to serve its popular homemade hard-serve ice cream.
Mike Concannon, who also owns C Salt Gourmet Market and Port Printing Solutions, is the new owner of Kettle Cove Creamery & Shack in Cape Elizabeth.