Good Day to our friends who are great supporters of Roost Café and Bistro!
This is the first in publishing a weekly blog about our adventures in moving our restaurant to Ogunquit and our experiences subsequent to opening in our new location.
Firstly, we keep pinching ourselves that we are here in Ogunquit with a fantastic restaurant building and are also in walking distance from home to work.
Secondly, we keep pinching ourselves that we are in an Ogunquit treasured location that has been a multiple award winning restaurant for 20 years. That restaurant was lovingly known as 98 Provence Bistro. We admire and honor their commitment to so many wonderful years of a long term successful restaurant in the southern coast of Maine. We wish them the best in their future endeavors and engagements. We also pay our respects to Everett Mink, who made this building a dream come true for any chef and we are delighted to be the next group of chefs to honor his vision.
Now the nitty gritty.
98 Provence was operational for 18 years with Chef Pierre at the helm. He, his wife, sister and brother-in-law sold the business to Everett Mink who retained this wonderful group as chef and managing staff. Mr. Mink then made a major renovation to the property 2 years later. After a successful 6 month re-opening of 98 Provence, Mr. Mink was diagnosed with a brain tumor and subsequently passed away in December 2012. Mrs. Mink then decided to place the property on the market.
We quickly found an investor who had faith in our ability to do justice to the space and signed a lease with option to buy.
We then moved from Cape Neddick to Ogunquit on May 31st with a group of loyal and new staff members. Our 14 foot truck made 4 round trips that included the signature “tree” that was in the bar. Yes, Aldo made sure that that happened. In fact, I was sent home during the “transplantation” of the tree as my disparaging comments were not welcomed. Gladly I went home with less stress and returned the next day with the most valued restaurant decoration ever (If we had a nickel for every person who wanted that tree in their home, well, we could have retired 4 years ago). The tree was in place, intact and stunning. But it needed new wiring of the lights. An order had been placed for commercial lights and we were anxiously awaiting the delivery. We were able to complete the “tree-move” with the re-wiring of the tree, the re-lighting and the inauguration of that old re-vamped tree in the new location.
We quickly sorted all our goods and wares that we brought with us and began the task of ordering, receiving and prepping the food for our newly expanded menu. We hired more staff and began that training as well.
We had our first light function on the 11th of June. Whew. Such a whirl wind 11 days, but we hosted a cocktail party for the local B&B’s, Inns and Hotels. We had a great turn out. The following night was an invitation only dinner for 50 dear friends. It was a bit overwhelming for all. We should have kept it down to 10 people, but our customers were so great, we wanted to include so many.
We finally opened our doors with the primary kinks worked out on the 18th of June. Mind you, I said, the primary kinks as there were many more subtle and hidden things to work out, one of which was to promote the Sous Chef to Head Chef and a line cook to Sous Chef. That nailed the sporadic good and mediocre meal coffin shut, never to be opened again. Chef Chris Godfrey and Jake Wakely have been at the helm for 2 weeks now and have been doing an outrageous job. Our thanks to them. See what one new diner had to say about them. 5 stars out of 5.
First Time – A Charmer
Dined on 7/22/2013
When on vacation, we try not to dine out too much, so we always try to be thoughtful in our dining choices and Roost definitely fits the bill. The food and service were exemplary and we had a great time. The decor is very rustic, with a little bit of funkiness to give it some character; the bar area looked really inviting. Definitely work a return trip when next we’re in Ogunquit.
We will update you in the next couple of day with more information.
Please look for a new and updated menu and a real fun new Light Fare Menu at the Bar.