For those coming back to Maine, here's what's new...

Welcome back to the Camden-Rockport area, Snow Birds 2023!

New restaurants and businesses that opened over the winter
Wed, 05/24/2023 - 11:45am

    CAMDEN—This is our annual “Welcome back” article to acquaint those who haven’t been around this winter to see what’s open, what’s closed, what's new, and what's happening. Here is your Camden-Rockport rundown for the summer.

    New Restaurants

    Several new restaurants have opened this year including Gypsy Rose Tavern, in the former Cedar Crest restaurant space on Elm Street, serving pizza, wings, beer, and wine with a reputation for supporting local, live music.

    Wolfpeach, a Camden restaurant at 50 Elm Street, announced a new concept that is more accessible, going back to its roots with sourdough pizza. See that PenBay Pilot story here.

    Whistling Whale, a cold-brew coffee shop, just opened in the Lyman-Morse Marina on April 5 serving cold brewed coffee and home-baked goods. See that PenBay Pilot story here.

    Bistro La Cave, a new French-inspired bar, restaurant, and jazz and blues located on the public landing in downtown Camden, is set to open in late May.

    Camden News

    Midcoast Sports Exchange, a sports consignment shop for new and used gear, first opened in Rockport last November, as Pen Bay Pilot initially reported, and quickly outgrew its space, so moved again to Camden in March with an expanded store. See updated story.

    Last fall, the Camden Post Office temporarily shuttered, temporarily suspending retail operation due to the construction of the building, and customers who needed to pick up delivered items had to go to the Rockland post office, according to a Pen Bay Pilot story. The Pilot updated that story with the announcement that by April 11, the Camden Post Office would reopen mail service to Camden box holders with the hope that retail operations would be up and running by April 17.

    Two marijuana retail shops have requested to open locations in Camden, which was discussed in a two-hour public hearing. The Select Board voted 4 to 1 on March 21 to let the voters decide the outcome at June 2023 Town Meeting. Read that story here.

    In February, Mark and Catherine Bradstreet asked the Town of Camden for permission to establish a stand or shack by the fisherman’s dock on the Public Landing, from which they would sell lobster on a daily basis. In a follow-up phone call to Mark Bradstreet, he said the town denied the request, but said he will still be using the fisherman’s dock as a retail location to sell his lobsters directly to the public after Memorial Day and he’ll additionally offer lobster boat tours. Find that original story here.

    The Select Board in Camden held a public hearing March 21 on amending its ordinances that would allow retail marijuana stores in specific districts. If the board finds in favor of moving the matter before the voters, it is to appear on Camden’s June 2023 Town Meeting warrant. Read that story here. Here’s a list of where to find other dispensaries in the Midcoast.

    Rockport News

    Jesse and Amanda Simko, from Rockport, opened Maine Cup in March, an online coffee subscription featuring only Maine coffee roasters across the state. Each month subscribers receive a new coffee from a Maine roaster and get an insider look through videography and photography. 

    According to a March Pen Bay Pilot story, The Select Board in Rockport has agreed to ask voters in June at the annual town meeting if they will endorse spending $3.76 million on a new West Rockport Fire Station as well as make the former Rockport Elementary School a community park and recreation center. The Lesher Family Foundation, established in 2022 with headquarters in Rockport, has pledged to give the town money to set the RES site aside for use as a park, and to fund the creation of park designs, as well as public outreach efforts. The Foundation established a website that went live Friday, April 14.

    Kay Stephens can be reached at