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

Welcome back to the Rockland area, Snow Birds 2022

New restaurants and businesses that opened over the winter
Fri, 06/03/2022 - 8:30am

    ROCKLAND—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 Rockland rundown for the summer.

    New Restaurants and Food Trucks

    Me Lon Togo, Midcoast’s only restaurant with West African cuisine moved from its Camden location to 10 Leland Street in Rockland on Christmas Eve. Owner Jordan Benissan, who immigrated from his West African country of Togo was featured in one of our past PenBay Pilot stories.

    A new nano-distillery and tasting room called Luce Spirits opened in 2021 at 474 Main Street, regularly serving up classic and inventive cocktails. Look for our PenBay Pilot story coming soon.

    Tuck and Roll, a locally owned food truck specializing in breakfast and lunch, set up base at Buoy Park and is readying for a spring opening. See our recent story.

    And over in Union, a new bakery and grab-and-go breakfast and lunch spot opened  in February of this year. Sterlingtown Bake House is the sister entity to the restaurant and bar, Sterlingtown Public House. See our recent PenBay Pilot story here.

    New Businesses

    Maine Sport Outfitters will open its third retail location at the corner of Main and Park streets in Rockland on Saturday, May 7. See that story here.

    Arctic Tern Books opened in January on 432 Main Street, the third bookstore to cement Rockland’s reputation as a thriving cultural scene. Owner Allison Worden opened the boutique bookstore naming it after the migratory bird that travels from pole to pole every year. It was chosen as a metaphor for exploration. “Books have the power to take people wherever they want to go—whether it’s somewhere back in time, or into someone else’s life, or on a personal journey.” See that PenBayPilot story here.

    Modern Metalsmith opened at 497 Main Street. Their motto: “Bespoke hand-crafted jewelry produced in small batches in our workshop.”

    Spine By Design Chiropractic, the office of Dr. Thomas White opened at 62 Maverick Street offering a disc-based, manual approach to adjusting the spine and extremities. Read that story here.

    The Tiny Tattoo Studio in Rockland recently opened at 144 Union Street just behind the Dark Harbor Barber Co.

    In Union, the George’s River Mercantile, a hardware store at 2179 Heald Highway is hosting its grand opening on Saturday, May 6 with food and prizes.

    Businesses that we missed

    This is a little shout-out to the businesses we missed covering that opened during the pandemic.

    Famed artist Eric Hopkins opened a new gallery in 2021 in downtown Rockland. Read DownEast’s story on him.

    Dark Harbor Barber Co. opened in 2020 at 144 Union Street, a barbershop whose name is nod to beautiful Islesboro village. Read that story here.

    The Painted Pirate (329 Main Street) is a gallery and store of original paintings, prints, cards and hand-painted furniture by Virginia Souza.

    A number of cannabis dispensaries have opened in downtown Rockland and surrounding areas. Here’s a list of where to find them.

    Ruckus Donuts, (377 Main Street) is a year-round takeout donut shop open Monday 7:30 – 11 a.m., closed Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and open Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 7:30 to 11 a.m.

    Short Shots

    A couple of city streets in Rockland that receive heavy pedestrian traffic as part of the Rockland Harbor Trail are being eyed for a beautification project by the City. Read that story here.

    A new Family History Center built into the lower level of the Rockland Public Library allows people to do a deep dive into Midcoast’s history with old Courier-Gazette negatives, boxes of old photos from photographer Jim Moore, who worked for the Courier-Gazette and The Portland Press Herald, as well as bound volumes of the Courier Gazette. Read that story here.

    The Maine Lobster Festival, which has been on hiatus for the last two summers due to Covid-19 pandemic restrictions is roaring back to life this summer for its 75th anniversary, August 3-7, 2022. Read more here.

    The Rock City Café, which has been open only as a takeout service for much of the pandemic recently announced they have now opened the café’s seating area back up to the public.

    Kay Stephens can be reached at