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

Welcome back to the Rockland area, Snow Birds 2023!

New restaurants and businesses that opened over the winter
Wed, 05/24/2023 - 5:15pm

    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 Street Food

    While not new, Café Miranda, which had to close last fall due to a number of factors imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, has re-imagined its dining concept three ways, so that it may re-open again soon. As PenBay Pilot covered in a recent story, chef Kerry Alterio is re-opening Miranda as a street food pop-up, a catering company in-house, and for exclusive dinners.

    Speaking of street food, Wiley’s, a new breakfast/lunch stand owned by chef Kyle Apel at 346 Main Street opened this month with an elevated, locally-sourced menu. Read that PenBay Pilot story.

    A Rockport pizza joint may soon relocate to Camden Street if approval is granted by the Rockland Planning Board. Aphiwat Ruklittikul (Mr. Wat) is seeking to bring his takeout restaurant, Spice Pizzeria, to a former gas station at 59 Camden Street. Read that PenBay Pilot story.

    Down the road in Owls Head at the Knox County Regional Airport, travelers and locals can get some home-cooked good food at The Apron, under Matthew Stilphen, a one-man operation with a simple philosophy: Make good food at prices working people can afford. Read that recent PenBay Pilot story.

    Down in Thomaston, two new developments will delight the locals. Hot Hill Tavern, owned by husband-and-wife Carly Laughery and Nate Millerare soon opening a community tavern and restaurant at the old Weymouth Grange Hall, formerly Billy’s Tavern. Read our PenBay Pilot story.   And the rumors are true: The Slipway in Thomaston is re-opening Memorial Day weekend after a long hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Follow their news on Facebook.

    Over in Union, The Community Kitchen, spearheaded by the Knox County Gleaners, a community organization that collects surplus food from farmers, gardeners, and orchard owners and gives it to food pantries, soup kitchens, libraries, senior homes, and other community hubs, is building a kitchen, which would give the organization the ability to process and provide fresh gleaned foods and prepare “ready to heat and eat” meals. Read that PenBay Pilot story. And soon, Union will also have another eatery, The owners of Sterlingtown Public House, are opening a burger shack called The Spot. Stay tuned to their Facebook page for the grand opening. And this just in: Alsace, a new restaurant in Union, has just announced it will be opening in the old Come Spring location. Stay tuned to their Facebook page for more details.

    Business News

    This is a little shout-out to the businesses and news the community might be interested in:

    Following renovations, Main Street Markets is excited to open its doors with a new espresso coffee program featuring Speckled Axe Coffee and other locally roasted coffee, more prepared food options, including a hot & cold self-serve food bar. The new summer menu will feature an in-house bakery program, a new breakfast and lunch menu, prepared food items to go, additional seating, and expanded hours.  This summer, the Market will host pop-up dinner events and private dinners with guest chefs in a new adjacent art and dining space.

    The schooner Grace Bailey will leave her  Camden Harbor as she heads out onto Penobscot Bay, and sets course for Rockland Harbor. Read that story here.

    After six years, The Edna St. Vincent Millay House in Rockland is finally complete and open to visitors. Read that story here.

    Pen Bay Medical Center (PBMC) has retained a real estate broker to sell several properties in downtown Rockland, including the site that houses its long-term nursing care facility at 6 White St. and the adjacent Bok Building at 22 White St. Read that story here.



    Kay Stephens can be reached at