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

Welcome back to the Camden-Rockport area, Snow Birds 2016

Thu, 06/02/2016 - 10:30am

    The good news is locals will tell you we didn't get the brutal beating we endured the previous winter. The even better news is how Camden and Rockport have begun to transform with a slew of new restaurants

    Here's our annual listing of the new businesses and changes that occurred over the winter in Camden, Lincolnville and Rockport — what's open, what's closed, what's new and what's happening.

    Restaurant news

    Cappy’s Chowder House...Sea Dog Brewing Co.

    Back in February, the rumors were swirling about Cappy's Chowder House closing after 37 years and what would take its place. PenBayPilot broke the news that The Sea Dog Brewing Co. (once a Camden fixture in the 1990s) was returning and had signed a lease to take over the Cappy's location. Renovations have been taking place all spring with plans for an outdoor deck. They are set to open June 15.

    Camden House of Pizza

    The Camden House of Pizza is under new ownership. Midcoast residents John and Mary McCluskey, who have lived in Hope for the past 20 years, have purchased this established business.  They are now accepting credit cards and offering slices for those with smaller appetites.  See our recent story here.

    Rhumb Line

    Restaurant patrons who are used to the views from The Waterfront, Peter Ott's on the Harbor and Camden Deli will notice something different across the inner harbor this summer — people at picnic tables and a bar looking right back at them on the dock at Wayfarer Marine. Rhumb Line opened with chef Scott Yakovenko at the helm in late May and it has already become a local hot spot. Can't beat that U-shaped zinc-topped bar with views of the Camden Hills and the boats bobbing on the brine. See our recent story here.

    Tap & Vine

    Another new place that sprung up with harborside seating is at 9 Bayview Landing. This June, Tap & Vine, a pop-up beer and wine bar began offering a selection of draft beer and wines on tap.

    The Vintage Room

    And just to be a little different, 16 Bay View Street's new 22-room hotel completed last summer quietly opened The Vintage Room, with a lobby bar and small plates menu.

    Atlantica Restaurant

    Fans of Atlantica Restaurant will be sad to know they finally closed this past fall, (which is where Tap & Vine is now located).


    Spoon, a frozen yogurt shop that opened in 2013 at 44 Bayview Street, said goodbye to its patrons September 2015.


    Fireside, a new restaurant featuring wood-fired cuisine, opened June 2 on Camden's Public Landing where Seabright used to be. Managed by Benjamin Curtis of Lincolnville, Fireside's menu will center around Italian and Mediterranean-influenced cuisine, along with local craft brews and a full bar.

    Read about what's new in Rockland and in Belfast:

    Welcome back to Belfast, Snow Bats 2016

    Welcome back to Rockland, Snow Birds 2016

    Shepherd’s Pie, Salt Water Farm...18 Central Street, Nina June

    Two neighboring Rockport village restaurants went away this winter and being replaced with two new restaurants. Shepherd's Pie closed for what looked like the season in March, until Penobscot Bay Pilot learned that they were closed for good. A new tenant, a raw bar and grill called 18 Central Street, will take it over. And when Salt Water Farm also closed, it was announced in early June that New York City chef Sarah Jenkins from Manhattan is taking over the space for her new Mediterranean restaurant, Nina June.

    Business news

    Knox Mill, Penobscot Bay Pilot, Maine Women’s Fund

    Last spring we reported on the Knox Mill's conversion of office spaces on the top floors, rumored to become senior housing, but over the winter, the new ownership of the mill complex property announced it saw opportunity in creating apartment complexes for all ages. This spring, the offices of Penobscot Bay Pilot and Maine Women’s Fund, among others such as Outward Bound and the clock repair shop, all moved out during the major reconstruction. Now the offices are located in the the former HAV building at 87 Elm St. in Suite 215.

    Shepherd Block

    On the heels of that story, we learned that Marianne and Stuart Smith, of Camden, had entered a purchase and sales agreement for the Shepherd Block in Rockport Village, and for the two vacant lots on either side of that historic brick building. The deal is expected to close in late July. The Smiths plan to keep the building intact. See that story here.

    Salty Dog

    The Salty Dog, located at 123 Elm St in Camden, a full service pet grooming salon just announced its opening in early June. Family owned and operated, with more than 25 years of grooming experience and four years of veterinary medicine, the salon offers botanical baths, top notch clips for all breeds, “pawdicures,” and therapeutic skin treatments.


    In February, Leonard’s a clothing, jewelry and accessory store moved from Route 1 in Rockport to 23 Elm Street in Camden.

    East Coast Yacht Sale/True Course Yachting

    And finally, a new yachting supply store headed up by East Coast Yacht Sales and True Course Yachting on 44 Bay View Street took over the Spoon location on Camden’s Bay View Street.

    If we've missed any business updates, comings and goings, expansions and the like, shoot us an email with the subject line "Add to Rockport/Camden story" and we'll give it a look.

    Kay Stephens can be reached at