JF Bites. Summah Means Lobstah in New England.12 Min.
Memorial Day has come and gone and that means that summer has (un)officially begun! It’s a short season here in New England and we enjoy every single minute of it! Our kids are the ones jumping into the frigid ocean over Memorial Day Weekend, we pack out down jackets and head to the beach no matter the temps. We deserve summer and damn it, we’re going to enjoy it! In honor of that hardy attitude, we give you the JF Bites lobster edition. Because Summah means Lobstah in New England.
BYO Anything on the Pier. Maine lobster is iconic (and tasty) and the Chauncey Creek Lobster Pier is an institution in Kittery Point, Maine. It is one of the last true BYO spots around, and folks don’t just BYO B, I have seen the brightly painted picnic tables set with crystal stemware, fine linens, candles and flowers. Some folks bring chips and dips, others bring elaborate side dishes to pair with the fresh caught Maine lobsters, steamers or lobster rolls.
Chauncey Creek Lobster Pier has been in owner Ron Spinney’s family since the late 1930’s when his great uncle, lobsterman Herb Witham built the pier to stack traps and sell gas and oil to local fisherman. When Witham’s son-in-law George Spinney returned home from the war, he noticed some locals were asking if they’d cook Herb’s lobster for them on the pier. He installed boilers in the shack and tanks on the pier, and soon after customers were asking if they could eat the lobster there as well. George laid out a few picnic tables, and what became know as Herb Witham’s Lobster Pier was born. Eventually Herb passed the business onto George, who over the years added more and more tables, as the pier began to develop a reputation as a premier destination to enjoy fresh lobster along the Seacoast. As their reputation grew so did their customers, making visits an annual tradition among families and friends. In 1984 George handed over the pier to his son Ron, who expanded the dining area and the business, officially naming it Chauncey Creek Lobster Pier. www.chaunceycreek.com/about-us/
Building houses is just like boiling lobsters. Well, that’s what Brian Sleeper of Period Restoration in York, ME is counting on! He and another York business owner co-purchased the much-loved Lobster in the Rough earlier this year. The Rough was a go-to spot for the locals in York, a town that swells to twice its size with tourists from July-September. The draw of The Rough is in its history, generations of York residents past and present have long been loyal customers. They have joined Bocce and horseshoe leagues and brought their children to the playground. The food is simple and traditional and the drinks are cold and plentiful. York, ME locals are thrilled to have The Rough back in action.
Growing and Giving. One of the more old-school fish restaurants on the Seacoast is The Weathervane, open year round this family friendly spot caters to just about every taste. The Weathervane began in 1969, when Ray and Bea Gagner opened a simple seafood take-out stand in Kittery, Maine. Their vision was for a rustic summer place where folks would travel for fresh lobster, tasty chowders and other yummy treats from their old family recipes, several million pounds of lobster later, the tradition continues at Weathervane Restaurants. But what makes The Weathervane company so special is not just its tasty chowder. Each year Weathervane donates thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours to worthy charities through their Chowdah for Charity program, Claws for a Cause certificates and their Seafood Makes Cents program which gives organizations the opportunity to earn 20% cash back from the support they generate. The Weathervane also offers a scholarship to a graduating employee in each of their six locations. They even have their very own sustainability program that they provide, free of charge, to elementary schools. The Lobster Lore Program teaches children not only the facts about what lobsters eat and where they live but also the importance of the sustainability of lobsters and the impact of the environment, and there might even be a human sized Lobster mascot…
Urban Lobster. Stuck in the city? Or just trying to make a little vacation out of your lunch break? We have the spot for you. One of the containers here at the Innovation and Design Building is housed by the iconic Yankee Lobster Co. Owner Joseph Zanti comes from generations of fishermen. From Italy to Boston harbor in the 1920’s the Zanti family have been lobstering for decades. From commercial supply to catering traditional New England Clambakes, and now feeding a hungry lunch crowd of designers, makers, and innovators from their container in the Seaport. Yankee Lobster Co. serves up fresh and delicious treats that will give you a taste of a summer weekend, even if it’s actually a Wednesday in March.
Summer is brief, enjoy it! Explore our gorgeous coastline for your favorite lobster spot and tell us all about it. If you pop by Chauncy Creek there’s a decent chance you’ll see a JF branded longboard leaning against the pier…
Thanks to Jessie Dupler for our title photograph, taken in Kittery Point, Maine. All other images from their respective restaurant websites.