CAMDEN — Over the last few months, a space on the working waterfront side of Camden’s harbor, at Lyman-Morse at Wayfarer Marine, has been quietly undergoing major renovations for Chef Scott Yakovenko’s latest restaurant, Rhumb Line, set to open May 18.
A whole new kitchen had to be built and the interior of the snug space was completely retrofitted by Chris Biggart and Fred Boursier, who fashioned the walls with reclaimed barn boards from Youngtown Inn. In addition, they hand-crafted all of the tables, chairs, bar and bar stools. The modern industrial look is a signature aesthetic in Yakovenko’s other popular Thomaston restaurant, The Slipway.
“It’s an industrial clam shack,” he said.
He has borrowed a tremendous amount of outdoor space onto the wharf with a U-shaped zinc bar backed by an outdoor raw bar that hugs the building. In inclement weather, a giant tent surrounds the outdoor bar area, but on sunny days, even more space will be available on the wharf with picnic tables. Boursier built the bar and craftsman Andy White built the beer tap and will be constructing an enclosure to shut the bar up like a box when closed for the evening.
As the only restaurant on that side of the wharf, all of the seating has an unfettered view of Camden, providing a fresh perspective for diners so used to seeing the harbor from the opposite side.
The menu, Yakovenko, said will be “seafood; fresh boat-to-table,” similar to The Slipway, which he’ll also be running this summer.
“But the menu won’t be the same,” he emphasized, noting they intend to introduce new dishes, such as grilled razor clams and paella. On their first day, a spectacular raw bar will be on display.
“We’ll have a lot of local Maine beers on tap,” he added.
The name is fitting with the area’s boatbuilding culture. A rhumb line is a curve on the surface of a sphere that cuts all meridians at the same angle and applies to the course of a ship in navigation.
There has been a lot of buzz surrounding the opening.
“My neighbors are really happy around here to have it open soon,” he said.
Boaters can come right up to the restaurant, (but can’t tie up), but a shuttle and launch service is available. Parking will be well marked at the end of Sea Street on the left hand side and people can walk down the paved hill. Keep going until you reach the wharf and you can’t miss it.
The bar opens at 4 p.m. and food is served from 5-9 p.m.