For those returning to Maine for the summer, here's what's new

Welcome back to the Belfast area, Snow Bats 2023!

Wed, 05/24/2023 - 11:30am

    Things are usually quiet in Belfast over the winter, but Penobscot Bay Pilot has the rundown on what has opened and changed while you were gone.

    If you're wondering why Camden and Rockland get the Snow Birds moniker and Belfast gets Snow Bats, it's because years ago, the citizens of Belfast earned the affectionate nickname of Moon Bats.

    New Restaurants & Bars


    Sophia, a new beer and wine bar at the underground space on 84 Main Street in Belfast opened this winter under the helm of two friends, Steve Garrand and Luke Olson, who intentionally created it as a place they themselves would like to hang out in. Read that PenBay Pilot story here.


    Egg rolls will be on the menu at Big Daddy’s Hot Box, a food truck, which is also taking over the concession stand at the Belfast City Park for 2023.


    Out in Appleton, two other friends, chef and owner of Camden’s Boynton-McKay, Brian Beggarly and chef Andrew Bridge, formerly of Thomaston’s Station 118, opened Appleton’s only bar and restaurant, Fōda, which is an old English word for “food.” Fōda has now started a weekly farmer’s market at their location as well. Read that PenBay Pilot story here.


    Down in Lincolnville, Aster & Rose, the new restaurant that opened in the Youngtown Inn by owners Michael and Karrie Nowak, made its debut last fall. With Michael in the kitchen as the chef, the menu is French-inspired with relaxed, contemporary, fare. Read that PenBay Pilot story here.


    In Searsport, Hello Sailor, a taco, art, and cocktail restaurant PenBay Pilot covered last year in this story, announced a major expansion to its current downtown space, announcing its plans to add a pizza kitchen and raw bar in June.


    New Businesses


    Two new, independent bookstores have opened this spring. Anodyne, a Searsport bookshop just a few doors down from Hello Sailor is owned by at Elly Burnett on 33 East Main Street and launched its grand opening on April 8. See that PenBay Pilot story here. And Grump & Sunshine Bookshop, a new romance bookshop owned by Cassidy James Taylor at 159 High Street in Belfast, announced it was opening up in May. 


    Frederico Martinez, who grew up in Maine, opened a new business in Belfast. As the proprietor of Waldo County Guns, he said he is the only Federal Firearms Licensed (FFL) gun business within the town of Belfast. FMI:207-332-2755 or email:


    Short Shots


    The Colonial Theatre, which had been closed to the public during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, re-opened after a 15-month intermission last June. For those who weren’t aware, The Colonial,  a locally-owned three-screen cinema is back with a force, screening classic, cult, and new films in-person once again. See that story on PenBay Pilot.

    Kay Stephens can be reached at