MOUNT DESERT — Abel’s Lobster Pound on Somes Sound, which opened in 1939, is closed this summer, and its future is unclear.
Ted Stanley Jr., who owned and operated Abel’s for many years, said in a Facebook post last month, “After 42 seasons at Abel’s, the family and myself have retired.”
He and his wife, Shae, now operate a food truck at the Northeast Harbor Marina, where they serve lobster rolls and other lunch items.
Stanley did not return calls for comment on the reason for not opening Abel’s this year.
His family’s association with Abel’s is nearly as old as the restaurant itself. Ted Stanley Sr. began working there as a youngster in the 1940s. He later became the owner and eventually turned it over to his son.
The 2016 edition of the book, “Lobster Shacks: A Road-Trip Guide to New England’s Best Lobster Joints,” describes Abel’s as “about as elegant a lobster shack as you’ll find anywhere.”
According to the book, “Abel’s has a fiercely loyal following of well-heeled customers, many of them from big-name families in America who insist that the Stanleys keep things just like they are: simple, understated, quiet and low-key.”
In May, Mount Desert residents Glenn Squires and Kelsea Carr-Squires applied to the town for a liquor license for Abel’s. They stated on the application that they planned to open the restaurant June 28.
Approval of their liquor license application was on the agenda for the June 5 meeting of the Mount Desert Board of Selectmen, but the applicants withdrew the application prior to the meeting.
Carr-Squires last week declined to comment on the reason for withdrawing the application and for not opening Abel’s. She referred questions to the owner of the property, who is William Stewart. He could not be reached for comment.
He owns the seven-acre lot that includes Abel’s Lobster Pound and the Henry R. Abel & Company Yacht Yard. The land and buildings are assessed for tax purposes at $2.69 million.
Stewart, who owns a summer home on Somes Sound, is founding partner of investment management firm W.P. Stewart & Co. and grandson of the founder of MetLife Insurance.