LINCOLNVILLE—Fans of Chez Michel Restaurant on Route One were pleasantly surprised to see a new post on the restaurant’s Facebook page after more than a year of inactivity.
The restaurant, which did not reopen the summer of 2020—another casualty of the pandemic—announced on Facebook Friday, October 1, that it is now open and has transformed with a new twist: it’s now called the Beach Inn Market filled to the brim with antiques and collectibles as well as art, and wine from chef/owners Michel Hetuin and Lillian Amborn’s personal collection, amassed over the last 30 years.
And that’s not all, fans of Michel’s cooking and Lillian’s baking will be overjoyed to learn they are back in the kitchen, whipping up takeout portions of lobster stew, seafood chowder, signature French sauces, dressings, and seasonings, and Lillian’s homemade cheesecakes and desserts. In the back of the restaurant sit boxes of wine, which will also be available until every last bottle is sold.
“I needed to get back into the kitchen,” said Hetuin, who said that retired officially last year, but wanted to still cook. “Each week, we’ll be offering something else, such as crab cakes and Boeuf Bourguignon.”
A cold case, which contained the to-go items, including 50 cups of lobster stew, was nearly cleaned out Friday afternoon by customers with no other advertising of their opening than a brief Facebook post.
The market, which fills the first floor of the restaurant, is an antique-hunter’s dream with an array of art, frog-themed collectibles, original Chez Michel signs, wooden lobster traps, dozens of beer taps collected over the years, and odds and ends.
“We used to get a lot of these things from auctions,” said Hetuin, who said the time had come to sell them.
The Beach Inn Market will only be open for the next four to five weeks on weekends Friday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Hetuin and Amborn said that this model works for them for now, but that even in retirement, they like to keep their options open. Chez Michel fans, does that mean there’s a food truck in the future? They’re not saying.
Learn more by visiting Chez Michel Restaurant’s Facebook page.
Kay Stephens can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org