Bar Harbor Lobster Bakes, a restaurant and event venue with a view of Hull’s Cove, has reopened under new ownership. PHOTO COURTESY OF BAR HARBOR LOBSTER BAKES

A reinvented Bar Harbor Lobster Bakes reopens  

BAR HARBOR — After a two-year break, Bar Harbor Lobster Bakes on Route 3 is open again under new ownership and management.  

Stephen Cough founded Bar Harbor Lobster Bakes in 1979 with a mission to provide traditional Downeast shore dinners to large numbers of people. The restaurant’s building in Hull’s Cove was designed to host weddings, group tours, conferences, cruises, reunions and other big events.  

After a solid season in 2019, the business closed and Cough sold it to his son Andy. In 2022, Andy’s good friends, Heather Tunison, Eric Brewer and Leslie Brewer, signed a lease with a mutual intent to preserve the restaurant. 

The business reopened in June – with some changes. 

“We decided to reinvent the business after COVID, but leave the name and building the same,” said Tunison, who is the restaurant’s manager.  

The business, which formerly operated primarily as a lobster bake buffet for large groups, has transitioned into a takeout and dine-in restaurant with inside and outside seating. 

Guests to the restaurant will now have more options to choose from given its expanded menu, with items created by the Brewers, who are chefs. 

Though adjustments have been made to accommodate customers in a pandemic world, Bar Harbor Lobster Bakes will continue to host big events and provide catering services.  

“We don’t have enough staff this first year to do off-premises catering, but (we) hope to pick it back up in 2023,” Tunison said.  

Offering free customer parking, live music and lawn games, the new owners aim to attract more customers. 

With the Brewers’ experience as lobster fishermen, and Tunison’s knowledge of running restaurants, the trio have made a great team. Every morning, the Brewers meet up with family members and friends in Northeast Harbor to pull lobsters from the boat.  

“The lobsters are only handled twice – pick them, drive them to our premise and place them in our 700-pound holding tank,” Tunison said.  

“We’re just getting our feet wet. We’re hoping to get the word out that we’re not just for big parties. Anybody can come and we are really hoping locals will come,” she added. 

Bar Harbor Lobster Bakes, located at 10 Route 3, is open from noon to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.  

Ninah Rein

Ninah Rein

Writer at Mount Desert Islander
Ninah Rein, an MDI native, covers news and features in the Bar Harbor area. She is glad to be back in Maine after earning a bachelor's degree in San Diego from the University of California.
Ninah Rein

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