|A DELIGHTFUL DIVERSION IN DAMARISCOTTA|
STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY
Maine has long been for me a town on the way to some place
During my yearly respite to the coast of Maine, we often drove through
the town on our way to places like Rockland or sites like the
stunningly beautiful Pemaquid Point Lighthouse.
Sure, we would on
occasion stop for a cup of coffee or maybe a quick stroll through the
shops, but we never really soaked the place in, never appreciated it
for what it was, even if it was truly “the next town over” all those
Like many villages that dot Maine’s rocky coast, Damariscottawas once a busy and vital port of call for New England’s shipping industry. Situated twelve miles up the Damariscotta River from the Gulf of Maine, settlers have occupied this eastern shore since the 1640’s. The town has lived through a very familiar story of war, disease, and Indian raids to flourish during the colonial period and into the 19th century thanks to shipbuilding. Like so many of its neighbors, the evidence of this golden age exists in beautiful old houses that are now perfect for a Bed and Breakfast or restaurant, and along its waterfront where brigs and frigates have been replaced by fiberglass yachts and lobster boats.
Since the American Public House Review first seemed like it would become a reality, I have been intrigued by a tavern that sits just off the main drag. A drive through the downtown only affords the passerby a fleeting glimpse of KING EIDER'S PUB, but that was enough to make me say, year after year, that I needed to check that place out. Sometimes, a glimpse is all you need to peak your interest. But it never happened. Maybe I had just gotten into a habit of driving through Damariscotta, despite this clearly inviting looking place.
KING EIDER'S PUB IN DAMARISCOTTA, MAINE
THE KING'S BAR IS INVITING AND CONDUCIVE TO DUCKY FELLOWSHIP.
MAINE'S SUMMER SKIES ARE CHANGEABLE, BUT SUBLIME. THE LOOK OUT WINDOWS PROVIDE A PERFECT PERCH TO DAYDREAM
AS YOU VIEW THE CERULEAN DRAMA.
then the weather gods finally had their way, as is usually the case
along the North Atlantic. This summer, Maine was literally
bombarded with what felt to locals like an interminable rain. I
was told by one resident that the number of sunny days during the first
half of summer could be counted on one hand. We were there just
at the tail end of that period, so more than one day during our
vacation found us searching for shelter from the storms. It
seemed like a perfect time to stop in, instead of driving past, KING EIDER'S PUB.
It delivered on my years on anticipation and then some. Walking into the front door gives you a birds-eye view looking down onto a perfect and cozy bar with a great feel that is both fittingly nautical and colonial at the same time. But out of the corner of your eye, you can also see an inviting little space up the stairs, with taps just barely in view and a sign that reads “Oyster Bar”, something you will find nearly anywhere along the Atlantic Ocean. This is the type of place you need to explore. Whether along the lookout windows of the upstairs bar, sitting in a comforting corner wooden booth, or perched among the banter at the bar, KING EIDER'S PUB is welcoming to tourist and locals alike.
So now I have yet another tavern along Maine’s coast, perhaps my favorite place to vacation, to sit and enjoy my time. The expression I have often heard in Maine is “If you don’t like the weather, just wait a minute”. Now that old axiom may not have applied this summer, but with places like KING EIDER'S PUB to enjoy, who cares about the weather.
ONE OF MANY PLEASURABLE CORNERS IN KING EIDER'S PUB
|KING EIDER'S PUB
2 ELM STREET
CORNER OF MAIN AND ELM
DAMARISCOTTA, MAINE 04543
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