Gary Oliver, the former co-owner of Mt. Battie Take Out at the base of the Camden Hills State Park, has a message for the shack’s loyal patrons who were disappointed to learn it was closing this season: “Don’t fret. We’re back and better than ever.”
The Beloin family, which owned the property the roadside restaurant was situation on, retired last October and sold their iconic lodging, Beloin’s to a young couple, as written about in a PenBay Pilot story, “After 80 years, Beloin’s gets new owners, new name.”
“So, it was time to do something different,” said Oliver. His business partner, Kevin Defoe, decided to opt out of the new venture and get back into lobstering instead. Oliver and his crew spent some time repainting the interior, laying down new floors and replacing the old decor with black and white vintage photos of Camden. The 65-seat restaurant, has a cozy, unfussy ambiance, very similar to the original Cedar Crest location and the price points for Camden are ideal for locals and families.
Now open at the former Cedar Crest Motel restaurant at 115 Elm Street, Oliver is back in the kitchen, serving up some of the best Maine seafood around. Having won the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence for the last four years for his simple, fresh and affordable menu, he’s bringing back the local favorites of fish and chips, lobster, crab rolls, burgers, homemade soups, chowders, sandwiches, subs and quesadillas and has expanded with a new breakfast menu of crab cakes and eggs, omelets, waffles, pancakes, and Eggs Benedict.
“Some of my old customers who’ve been coming to the take out shack for years and have swarming in here like mad since we opened,” he said.
Oliver himself has been a fixture in the Midcoast culinary scene for decades, having opened his own restaurant in Massachusetts, prior to coming here to work as a chef in a number of local restaurants. He co-owned Mt. Battie Take Out for nearly 10 years after that.
Oliver’s Bistro is currently open for breakfast to lunch from 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. with plans to open additionally for dinner service by mid-June. Around the same time, Oliver has plans to open outdoor seating with a screened-in deck and bar featuring craft Maine brews on tap as well as wine.
For more updates visit their Facebook page: Oliver’s Bistro
Kay Stephens can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org