Popular restaurant Just voted Best Breakfast in New England by Yankee Magazine

Rockland Planning Board considers Home Kitchen Cafe expansion

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 10:45pm

    ROCKLAND- James Hatch and Susan Schiro, owners of Home Kitchen Café, reopened their restaurant more than a year ago after renovating 650 Main Street in Rockland, and they haven’t looked back. They are now ready to expand again and will go before the city’s Planning Board Tuesday, May 6, with a site plan review application to turn a former hair salon at 19 North Main Street into an ice cream shop and bakery.

    “There’s a little confusion about that,” said Schiro. “First, yes, we have to go before the planning board. Once we get that approved, the building needs some work. The bakery we want to open there will supply mainly our own needs at the restaurant. We will have a small retail space there, but it’s mainly going to be an ice cream shop.”

    “The bake shop won’t be there for another year or so,” said Hatch. “It’s down the road with no set date for when it goes in. When we submitted the plan to the planning board we decided to put in as much as we could, so we wouldn’t have to go back for another approval at a later date for another approval.”

    “We want to open up the ice cream shop as soon as possible,” said Schiro. “By the end of June; but, of course, it all has to do with the Planning Board and how they receive us. We’re not going to make our own ice cream at this time, but we would like to, eventually. Hopefully next year, but right now we don’t have the equipment. We’re looking at three different brands to supply us, but we haven’t chosen one, yet.”

    Schiro and Hatch said they plan to have some seating in the ice cream shop and a small retail space that will sell their T-shirts. Susan said they do have some surprises in mind, only to say that they would be different from what any other ice cream shop is selling in town. 

    Their existing Home Kitchen Cafe seats 72 and serves breakfast and lunch with an open deck upstairs. 

    “James developed the menu,” said Schiro. “His palette enjoys more of a Southwestern flare, so he’s incorporated that into the menu. The food is basic, but we like flavor, we like spice and we like herbs. We especially like to use fresh ingredients.”

    One of the featured menu items is wild boar sausage.

    “It is wild Ferrell boar,” said James. “We don’t go out and get it; it comes conveniently wrapped for us. I thought it was really interesting. I tried it at a food show and thought it was really good. I had never had it before and I was really surprised, so I decided to try it on the menu and people like it.”

    Home Kitchen Cafe was just named by Yankee Magazine as Best Breakfast in New England.

    “It just came last week and it was an unexpected arrival in the mail,” said Schiro. “It was a real surprise that out of thousands of restaurants in New England, we were chosen as the best. We had no idea it was going on. Yankee magazine apparently sent people out to scout places. Some of them were obviously in here unbeknownst to us. These people traveled New England and decided we were up there with some of the better ones. I like to think we live up to it.”

    “We’re definitely thankful for the distinction and for the recognition,” said Hatch.

    “This is a great time to thank all the local customers who supported us,” said Susan. “We have people who come in daily and we have people who come in every week. Without them we would not be here, so I want to give a big heartfelt thank you to all the local people who stand behind us.”

    The Rockland Planning Board meeting begins at 5:15 p.m. at City Hall Council Chambers. The agenda includes:

    I. Call to Order and Roll Call

    II. Previous Meetings Minutes: April 15, 2014

    III. Public Comment:

     IV. Communications: 1. Memo from City Attorney Kevin Beal regarding seasonal container restaurants and food wagons in the Downtown & Tillson Avenue Area Overlay Zones. 

    V. Old Business: 1. Power Engineers, Inc. on behalf of Central Maine Power Company is requesting a one year extension for the existing Shoreland Zoning Permit for the CMP Section 48 Transmission Line Rebuild Project. (Section 48 extends from the Park Street Substation in Rockland to the Thomaston Creek Substation in Thomaston.

    VI. New Business: 1. James Hatch and Susan Schiro, owners of the Home Kitchen Café, have submitted a Site Plan Review Application to change the use of the building at 19 North Main Street, Tax Map #13-D-8, from a Hair Salon to an Ice Cream Shop & Bakery.

    2. Steve Stinson and Luanne Clifford have submitted a Site Plan Review Application to construct a 560 sq. ft. deck for outside dining at a Take-Out Restaurant at 743 Main Street, Tax Map #13-B-2.

    3. Front Row Management, LLC has submitted a Site Plan Review Application to change the use of a portion of the building at 31 New County Road, Tax Map #50-A-8, from retail space to a functions facility.

    VII. Other:

    VIII: Sign Approved Plans:

    IX. Adjournment