Servers at 123 Main Street, the new market and restaurant in Northeast Harbor, offer free coffee drinks and bagels to people who dropped in during an open house on Memorial Day. ISLANDER PHOTO BY DICK BROOM

New market, restaurant comes to NEH

MOUNT DESERT — After nearly three years in the making, a combination market and restaurant in Northeast Harbor – with shared office space for rent on the second floor – is set to open by the end of this week.

The establishment’s name is the same as its address: 123 Main Street.

The market will carry locally grown vegetables, locally baked breads, fresh seafood and fresh flowers. Homemade ice creams and sorbets will be available on Sundays.

The restaurant will be open daily for light breakfasts and lunches and for early-evening “family dinners” featuring such things as barbecue, pasta, burgers and “comfort food.”

The three-course dinners will cost $24 for adults and $15 for children under 10, with tip included.

“We tried to come up with a restaurant model that’s sustainable in Northeast Harbor,” said John Boynton, who bought the property, built the restaurant and developed the concept with his wife Johanna.

“What’s nice about the family dinner with a limited prix fixe menu is that it brings people together,” Boynton said. “It will be affordable, and it will accomplish the larger goal of making this a place people come to several times a day. We want them to come in the morning, in the afternoon and in the evening.”

Starting at 8 p.m. each evening, the restaurant will be available for private dinner parties and will be called The Table at 123. It will offer fine dining for $125 per person based on a 16-person table.

“We think it will be really well received by the local summer population in particular, in large part because people in Northeast Harbor do a lot of entertaining,” Boynton said. “It will be nice to be able to do your entertaining outside your own home.”

The chef at 123 Main Street is Tracey Aberman, who has been a private chef and caterer in Northeast Harbor for more than 20 years.

Boynton said the plan is for the restaurant and market to be open through October.

“The dream is that someday there would be enough customers to allow us to be open year round,” he said.

The shared office space on the second floor, called the Wheelhouse, will be open all year. One can rent a private office or just a desk for a week, a month or longer. Tenants have the use of a conference room, as well as video conferencing and other business support services.

The Boyntons, who are longtime summer residents of Northeast Harbor, bought the old Small, Staples & Co. drugstore building in 2013 with the idea of opening a coffee shop, internet café or soda fountain. They saw the project as part of the community’s effort to revitalize the downtown area.

They had hoped to renovate the building, which most recently had housed the Maine Coast Exchange antiques store. But engineers determined that it was too structurally compromised to be saved. So, the Boyntons tore it down and constructed in its place a new building that looks almost identical to the original on the outside.

“What we are attempting to do here is new and ambitious, and it took some time to get the right people in place and the right building constructed,” Boynton said. “I’m really happy to say that we’re about to cross the finish line.”

Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]

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