By Michelle Switzer
The Harbor Room, formerly The Samoset, is expected to open in mid- May. (Michelle Switzer photo)
The former Samoset Restaurant in New Harbor is set to open in mid-May under new ownership and with a new name.
“The kitchen equipment should be here in four to five weeks, and then after that comes staffing and training,” said owner Xavier Cervera.
Cervera purchased the property immediately after finding out the previous owners were shutting it down.
“I met (previous owner) Chad McKernan when I used to eat at the restaurant,” Cervera said.
Cervera quickly arranged to purchase the restaurant after hearing McKernan and Reeves were going to close it at the end of 2013.
The old restaurant was demolished in February 2014 by O.W. Holmes Inc.
Previous proprietors McKernan and Erin Reeves will run the newly named restaurant, The Harbor Room, according to Cervera.
The Harbor Room is a completely new construction, built by Zander Lee General Contractors.
“They built my house in Round Pond and my condominiums in Newcastle,” Cervera said.
The Harbor Room sits on 3 acres of land, and Cervera plans to use that land wisely.
A “smoke house” has been built, where two smokers will cook meat. Next to the smoke house is a bandstand for local performers.
The booths on the bar side of The Harbor Room. (Michelle Switzer photo)
The Harbor Room will also have a bocce ball court and a horseshoe court.
“We have a screened-in porch on the (right) side with patio furniture and lounge chairs, and will have outdoor dining on the front porch,” Cervera said.
The inside of the restaurant seats 85, with more, uncounted seats at the bar, according to Cervera.
Seating is divided, with family style on the left and a livelier atmosphere and bar on the right.
“We are planning on pub fare food, with a southern flair,” Cervera said. “McKernan is from Alabama, and the old Samoset had some really good New Orleans-style food.”
Cervera wants to keep the prices reasonable to keep customers coming.
“Friendly food prices are a must around here,” he said.
Cervera, who spends part of the year at his home in Round Pond, has owned 16 restaurants, “all built or renovated.”
“I started buying and renovating old buildings at a young age, and some of those came with restaurants,” he said. “I became hooked (on buying and renovating).”
All of the artwork displayed on the walls of The Harbor Room is by local artists, according to Cervera.
The only part of this restaurant that isn’t locally built is the millwork, or intricate woodworking, Cervera said.
“My millworker has worked with me on 12 restaurants,” Cervera said. “He’s from Charleston, North Carolina, where I spend part of the year.”
The Harbor Room will have brunch on the weekends during the (summer) season, with lunch and dinner year-round.