Roadside Eats in Waldoboro opened on Tuesday, June 1 and the ‘50s-themed restaurant has more than a few surprises on its menu.
Shawn Elliott, who also owns McGreevy’s Corner Store in Waldoboro, purchased the old Bella Gia’s location at Route 1 last fall. Bella Gia’s closed in March 2020 at the beginning of the pandemic and never reopened.
Elliott said he felt that Waldoboro needed more variety in its dining opti ons and when the property came up for sale he seized the opportunity to attract new customers with a more visible location. He plans to split his time between Roadside Eats and McGreevy’s, which is located on Bremen Road.
Roadside Eats is positioned primarily as a takeout restaurant to serve the businesses and traffic on Route 1. Customers place and pick up orders at the counter and utensils are available at a station on the back wall. There are three red vinyl booths for inside seating and several picnic tables outside.
Elliott said the restaurant currently has eight employees. Some kinks in the supply line have caused delays in the availability of some planned offerings, Elliott said, but he looks forward to having his full line of ice cream flavors and retail food items available soon.
Elliott, of Round Pond, has owned restaurants in Wiscasset, Rockland, and Las Vegas in the past. It was his experience in Las Vegas that inspired him to make Roadside Eats a themed restaurant. “I wanted to make a fun place for families to come,” he said.
Roadside Eats features dinners like fried clams, fish or chicken with coleslaw and fries, as well as pizzas, burgers, and sandwiches. The pizza menu is inventive, featuring a Reuben pizza, a moonshine barbecue pizza with pulled pork, and a lobster pizza with artichoke and parmesan.
But the kicker is the specialty burgers menu. For those who dare to be different, there are list of interesting options, from chocolate burgers and donut burgers to fried pickle burgers and a s’mores burger, complete with marshmallow, graham crackers, and half a bar of chocolate.
Elliott said he brainstormed a few “crazy ideas” and tested out recipes to create the burger menu. The chocolate and donut burgers are the bestsellers so far, but the entire menu is doing well, he added.
An ice cream case positioned right at the front door offers cones, sundaes, milk shakes and banana splits in a variety of flavors for those in need of a treat. Peppermint stick ice cream is a nostalgic throwback on the menu.
The restaurant also has a selection of old-fashioned candy and popcorn for sale, including Coastal Maine Popcorn Co. and Beemans vintage chewing gum.
The interior is painted an almost Tiffany & Co. blue with a few matching touches like the beautiful retro phone next to the kitchen for taking orders. A classic black-and-white checkerboard floor, white trim and tabletops, and large windows make the space feel open and bright.
Accents of Coca-Cola red pop against the soft shade of the walls. Cutouts of Elvis Presley and James Dean greet customers as they enter and explore the offerings. Walls are decorated with retro signs and a jukebox puts on an occasional light show against the back wall.
Elliott said the restaurant has been very busy in its first few days of being open. “People are happy to see something new and unique.”
Roadside Eats is located at 1587 Atlantic Highway, across the street from the town office. Hours are 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The business is closed on Sunday.
For more information, call Roadside Eats at 832-5002. Elliott said a website for the business will launch soon, and he plans to host an opening celebration in the summer.