BRUNSWICK — The local restaurant scene is set to expand with two new steakhouses, both being opened by owners of other businesses in town.
Scott Moody, owner of Moody’s Seafood, will open Black Pearl Raw Oyster Bar Steakhouse, at 32 Bath Road.
At 11 Pleasant St., Becky Marcos and Wayne Bartlett, owners of Lighthouse Variety & Deli, will be opening Odd Duck.
The Town Council on Aug. 6 approved liquor licenses for both establishments, which are expected to open next month.
Marcos said Odd Duck will offer “a little bit of everything” on its menu, mainly offering American food and specializing in steak.
Black Pearl will serve steak and raw, local oysters, and have 16 Maine microbrews on tap.
Moody said Black Pearl will be a departure from Moody’s Seafood, which has six locations along the Maine coast, including one launched 20 years ago in Harpswell.
The closest to Black Pearl is next door, at 36 Bath Road.
“This is going to be more of a steakhouse (and) the raw oyster thing, we’re not going to do much of the fried food,” he said. “We’re going do (dishes) like a baked, stuffed lobster, bacon wrapped scallops, the sort of thing that we don’t do next door.”
The historic building that will house Odd Duck has three floors. Marcos said the first floor will be divided between space serving breakfast from 7 a.m.-2 p.m. and dinner from 4-10 p.m.
The second floor will be a piano lounge featuring a baby grand piano. The third will be a large hardwood ballroom, to be used for functions such as “weddings, dances and open-mic nights,” according to Marcos.
Marcos and Bartlett’s original plan was to have a small cafe in the front portion of the first floor.
But John Stadler, the owner of the building, eventually asked Marcos to be his business partner. Stadler is the father of Cara Stadler, owner of Tao Yuan, also on Pleasant Street.
Now, Marcos has bought into the building, which also features rented apartments on the top floor and a barn out in the rear. However, she said she and Bartlett are embarking on the restaurant venture “solo,” independently of Stadler.
Both Black Pearl and Odd Duck plan to use as many local sources for their food as possible, with Moody serving oysters fished from his family’s oyster business and other local farms.
Similarly, Marcos said she and Bartlett want to try to use as many Brunswick providers as possible and have been meeting with local farmers.
Both businesses also have a tie to the now-defunct seafood restaurant Captain Mike’s. Black Pearl will be housed in Captain Mike’s former building, and Marcos and Bartlett purchased some of the restaurant’s old equipment for use at Odd Duck.
Moody said the opportunity to take over the Captain Mike’s building “just kind of happened.” He was already paying to use parking at the building and said he realized he might as well take the whole thing.
Black Pearl and Odd Duck are also both hoping to introduce something different to Brunswick’s food scene.
Moody said he thinks Black Pearl will fill a void of raw oyster bars between Portland and Boothbay Harbor.
“I just think it was a matter of time before somebody did it, because it’s kind of a fad,” he said.
At Odd Duck, Marcos and Bartlett said they want the restaurant to be a “destination” for visitors and a fun place to go, offering quirky attractions such as piano games they invented.
“We don’t want do trivia and something that everybody already does already,” Bartlett said.
The story behind Odd Duck’s name is also funky. It is a tribute to Marcos’ pet duck, which she fought to keep approximately six years ago after a dispute over a town ordinance.
“I still have my duck, and now we have this duck because we’re the Odd Duck,” said Marcos, who will not include the poultry on the menu.
Construction crews are still renovating both Black Pearl and Odd Duck. Moody is building a front patio at Black Pearl, which will be enclosed and have a fire pit.
Workers were to begin building one of the bars at Odd Duck this week. Before Marcos and Bartlett came on board, they said, Stadler had already been working on renovating the building for a year.
Marcos said she originally planned to open in mid-May, but bringing the building up to fire code delayed the process.
She also said there is “absolutely” room for two new steakhouses in town.
“There’s plenty of room for all of us,” Marcos said.
Restaurant owners Wayne Bartlett and Becky Marcos outside the soon-to-open Odd Duck at 11 Pleasant St. in Brunswick. The new restaurant is one of two steakhouses set to open in town next month.
Scott Moody, owner of Black Pearl Raw Oyster Bar SteakHouse, inside the establishment at 32 Bath Road, Brunswick, which is set to open next month.