Maine Kebab, a new takeout restaurant, will open in the downtown Waldoboro space formerly home to Broad Bay Bistro shortly after the Fourth of July.
“I’m hoping to be open in the next couple of weeks to offer the area some much-needed variety in takeout food options,” chef and owner Shane McGarvey said.
The location is off the parking lot behind the commercial block of Friendship Street, near the Community Pharmacy of Waldoboro. Jeff Hurd owns the building.
“We are taking our time in opening because we want to ensure the safety of our staff and customers,” McGarvey said. “We have been working hard to build a contactless ordering and pickup system. We want the experience to be safe, easy, and fast.”
As the name suggests, the restaurant will focus on kebabs.
“The food we will serve will be casual and hearty with lighter options. In a nod to our town’s German roots, Maine Kebab will serve fast food in the style of Germany’s most popular street food cuisine, the kebab,” McGarvey said.
McGarvey is interviewing prospective employees.
“I designed the menu from the ground up to be as simple as possible so I would not need to have a kitchen full of cooks,” he said. “My goal is to keep the operation small and follow all the safe distancing guidelines to ensure the safety of my staff and customers.”
McGarvey said that when he created the menu, he thought about the food he likes to eat.
“As a chef, I love using the finest food to produce high-end, fancy meals, but at the end of the day, I love to eat hearty comfort food. A big plate of rice with grilled lamb or a huge flatbread, rolled, stuffed with crispy pork belly or grilled chicken, and good french fries,” he said.
The menu is small, but seeks to please as many people as possible. “Instead of dozens of items that are decent, I wanted to offer just a few items but make them really delicious,” McGarvey said.
McGarvey said Maine Kebab will be a takeout-only restaurant.
“The space is perfectly suited for it and I’ve always felt that Waldoboro needed more options for takeout variety,” he said. “The space has a beautiful deck overlooking the Medomak River, but there are just not enough nice weekends in the year to build a restaurant around that. What I wanted was a solid food option for the working families in the area to grab on their way home.”
McGarvey’s primary business is Applecroft Catering, also of Waldoboro, which offers farm-to-table wedding catering.
“COVID-19 has made it unsafe to have large weddings this summer and maybe even this fall, so we have worked to move all our events to 2021 dates. But I’m in this business because I love to feed people,” he said.
“I have always loved the business model for catering, where I could take out-of-state money from destination weddings and put it into the local economy by using local produce, seafood, and meat, as well as employing people from the area,” he said. He plans to bring the same approach to the restaurant.
“But now I have the opportunity to use my skills to feed the people of Waldoboro and I adore that,” McGarvey said.
McGarvey said his professional background is in marketing and graphic design, but he discovered a passion for cooking along the way and has spent a career in catering and working as a personal chef.
He and Todd Mank, owner of Bullwinkle’s Family Steakhouse in Waldoboro, were roommates about 20 years ago.
“We shared a love of cooking and would spend our time cooking our way through cookbooks and throwing barbecue parties,” McGarvey said.
“I can spend hours talking about simple or complicated techniques and ingredients,” he said. “I read books and practice endlessly and talk to great chefs every day.
“I’m so happy that I can pour my heart into something that, in turn, makes other people happy. I can’t wait to open and let you all taste the food I have made for you.”