In Winter Harbor, Gerrish’s Store has been a landmark for generations. Once a true country store with marble-countered ice cream fountain and true penny candy, it was purchased a while back by a local wealthy person who tore the heart and soul out of the place, turning it into a swanky deli. (Same person tore down a home that had been in a family for five generations replacing it with the New York-style monstrosity that housed Mama’s Boy, which now sits derelict…but I digress, grrrr).
Anyhoo, this spring the new owner, a Bar Harbor restaurateur, planned to turn it into a restaurant, but he pulled out when he was unable to get a license to serve alcohol outside. Enter Kathryn Baltef, a local woman with previous experience operating a bakery down south, and her daughter Alyssa Rider. The duo opened Two Sisters, a bakery cafe serving breakfast and lunch, Gifford’s ice cream, coffee, tea and sweets. It’s comfortable, welcoming and has free Wifi.
Fisherman’s Inn is still going strong. Once when I was dining there, I asked the waitress how fresh the fish was. She laughed, directed me to the guy sitting in the booth behind us and said: Ask him, he caught it. Portions are generous here and accompanied by a sampling of chef-owner Carl Johnson’s smoked seafoods (he’s also the owner of Grindstone Neck of Maine) and foccacia bread accompanied by an addictive house dipping sauce made from olive oil, parsley, garlic and red pepper.
And yes, Chase’s is still the best choice for local grub and gossip, with good service, huge portions, low prices and better-than-decent fare. Hint: the small order of fish and chips is more than enough for most appetites.
Locals tell me a lobster joint is expected to open at the former Barnicle. Stay tuned for news on that one.
Locals worried that Bunkers Wharf, in Birch Harbor, wouldn’t reopen this spring, but it’s back and going strong. Although pricey by local standards, it has the best views and a super location at the end of the park’s Schoodic Loop; perfect for lunch or dinner. It overlooks a working wharf and lobster boat-filled cove–yeah, way quaint, precious and all those other adjectives used to describe Maine the way it’s depicted in postcards. By the way, Bunker’s is planning to open in Bangor, too, in the old EPI Pizza spot.
Downeast Deli, in Prospect Harbor, is doing well under its new ownership. It now has a dining area adjacent to the deli shop. Pizzas, hot and cold hoagies, sandwiches, etc., but the biggest seller is the homemade ice cream sandwich.