CAMDEN—Betty Forever, the garage bar and art studio in Camden, which had to close during the pandemic, has recently had a streak of good luck.
Now re-opened by Daiva Deupree, an actor and Betty Forever’s bartender, the boutique garage bar has been renamed Lucky Betty’s.
It’s a quirky gem in the midst of a tourist town, a combination of high-brow and low-brow, as Deupree describes it. On Instagram, the tagline for the place is: “Cold PBR & fancy olives...Nice wine & corner store roses...Mos Def & John Prine.”
As Deupree describes it: “ Lucky Betty’s is a place where everyone can feel comfortable.”
Deupree had spent the prior decade acting and teaching improv theater to teenagers in New York—but she’s always had a home in Maine. She had been splitting her time going back and forth to New York, doing shows, but began spending more time in Maine by 2018. When Betty Forever opened in 2019, she became their only bartender.
When the pandemic hit in March, 2020, Deupree saw her entire life and career shift focus.
“I asked myself what was I going to do?” she said. “I started daydreaming about Betty’s re-opening. And then [Betty Forever co-owner] Molly O’Rourke approached me about taking over and reopening.”
Betty, originally named after artist Betty Woodman, might not be forever, but she’s still going strong.
“The place has its own soul; I didn’t want to change the name because that’s bad luck,” said Deupree. “Molly built a dream I didn’t even know I wanted.”
Because Deupree still has several jobs in Maine, the small place is only open two days a week, Sundays and Tuesdays from 2 to 10 p.m.
With an under-the-radar opening in September, many of Betty’s regulars have started coming back for the unfussy beer, wine, and simple cocktail menu, for the light bar snacks, and for the quiet atmosphere.
The bar and pop-up event space offers seasoned mixed nuts, pretzel nuggets, “Hell’s Kitchen” deviled eggs, and a farmer’s market meat and cheese plate as the bar bites.
“I really want to get tater tots on the menu,” she said.
“The 2 p.m. is a very local crowd, but I’ve had a lot of people wander in,” she said. “And then I do have a younger crowd who comes in later around 8:30 p.m. We project the Sunday football games on the wall or screen old movies and eventually, I may do separate art or entertainment-related pop up nights.”
Follow Lucky Betty’s through their Instagram page.
Kay Stephens can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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