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‘Crossings’ to open this week at the site of old Bee Jays Tavern in Fort Kent

FORT KENT, Maine — “Crossings,” a long anticipated arrival on the Fort Kent nightlife scene, will open this week at the site of the old Bee Jays Tavern, which closed last summer after serving the area for nearly half a century. 

Dr. John Hotchkiss, a radiologist at Northern Maine Medical Center, vowed to breathe new life into the iconic tavern but also to maintain much of its history when he purchased the building last fall, and announced that he would open Crossings at the site. 

But for newly name signage near the top of the structure, the exterior of Crossings very much resembles the old Bee Jays.

The interior is another story.

“We’ve added some things, like a power strip under the entire bar as well as under-bar hooks for coats and purses. We’ve swapped out the red counter for a patterned gray countertop. And we’ve relocated the beer wall, which now houses 12 taps, and which we’re presently working to tune in just right. The ceiling is darker, the fluorescent lights are no more, and now we’re running with Edison bulbs and dimmable LEDs. We also reworked the stage and dance floor side a bit,” Hotchkiss said.

Crossings will open officially on Friday. There will be a dry run opening Tuesday that will be anything but dry as Hotchkiss and his crew plan provide customers with a variety of mixed drinks with locally inspired names such as “wayons,” “marabous” and “grand menage.” There also will be unique small plate menu items available. 

“We have creative paninis such as our Reuben, Cuban and honey garlic chicken. We’ve got flatbreads that will not only make your mouth happy, but they will also whisper into your ear that this building was and always will be Bee Jay’s. And we’re delving into some new territory with our charcuterie platters,” Hotchkiss said. 

Crossings will ultimately offer musical entertainment in the form of live bands, deejays,  karaoke and open mic nights. There also will trivia competitions and big screen televisions on which to watch sporting events.

The public is invited to Crossings’ soft opening 4-10 p.m. Tuesday, July 2, and the official opening at 4 p.m. Friday, July 5.

To keep up to date on the latest Crossings developments, check out the Crossings Facebook page.

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