After taking a summer off, a popular Damariscotta takeout plans to open in a new, permanent location by the end of May.
Joe Lane, a fourth-generation lobsterman, originally opened the business in 2014 near Clark’s Apartments on Elm Street. The next year, the business opened at Clark’s Apartments before moving to a space outside the former Paco’s Tacos.
For 2017, Lane hopes to relocate the business to a permanent location at 115 Elm St. in Damariscotta, the former home of the Skidompha Secondhand Book Shop.
The building, a red barn, has special history for Lane’s family. His great-grandmother once ran an antique shop out of the building and his mother, Valerie Seibel, later sold reproductions of antiques at the same location.
Seibel owns the building, which for the past 15 years had been the location of the Skidompha Secondhand Book Shop. When the book shop moved to 17 Backstreet Landing, Lane jumped at the chance to move his eatery to the building.
“This is something that’s always been at the back of my mind,” Lane said. “When the bookstore moved, we decided to go for it.”
Since Feb. 1, Lane, his partner, Izzy Nelson, and their families have been hard at work to get the building ready for the business.
Some aspects of the eatery will remain unchanged. Lane will still catch the lobsters on his boat, Spirit of ’76, and the menu will still feature lobster rolls with fresh meat.
When the eatery opens at its new location, it will have seating for customers, something the former location lacked. Customers will still have the option to place an order for pickup, and delivery will be available within the immediate area, Lane said.
A permanent location will also allow for an expanded menu, including some non-seafood entrees, Lane said.
Customers will still be able to purchase whole lobsters live or cooked. The restaurant will have a live lobster tank, Nelson said.
Lane plans to have the restaurant open seven days a week. He said he hopes to be open year-round.
The restaurant will also honor the area’s history, Lane said. He plans to enlarge historic photos to hang on the walls of the building for both locals and tourists to enjoy.
Lane still has the stand, which he hopes to use in the future for special events.
“Right now getting this open is the focus,” Lane said.
Lane and Nelson attended the March 6 meeting of the Damariscotta Planning Board for an initial visit to discuss the project. They plan to return to the board in April.