Barry’s Kitchen opens for business in Fort Kent
FORT KENT, Maine — A new restaurant on Main Street in Fort Kent boasts some familiar faces and favorite food features.
Barry’s Kitchen serves up traditional American cuisine including chicken, steak, seafood and burgers.
Partners Barry Pelletier and Steven Chabot, owners of the former Mill Bridge restaurant, opened the business on Aug. 6. Pelletier and Chabot closed Mill Bridge in March of last year. However, Pelletier said he felt compelled to return to the career he loves.
“This is just my thing,” Pelletier said. “It’s my passion to cook; I enjoy this.”
The menu is similar to that of Mill Bridge, with the exclusion of pizzas and subs, although Pelletier said those items may occasionally make their way onto the menu as specialty items.
A popular draw at Barry’s Kitchen so far is an old favorite, the Mill Bridge Steak Sandwich, which the menu describes as “seasoned shaved steak with melted Swiss, fried onion rings and garlic mayo on a grilled ciabatta.”
“Bread pudding is another hot item,” Pelletier said.
The restaurant has seven employees, most of whom previously worked at Mill Bridge. Alcohol is currently not available pending a liquor license from the state, which Pelletier said he anticipates will be approved sometime in September.
The Fort Kent Town Council unanimously approved the liquor license application in July. The restaurant is located in a Main Street building owned by Pelletier and Chabot which formerly housed Runaway Bridal.
A B Construction Inc. of Eagle Lake completed renovations in the building to turn the space from a showroom to a restaurant in the style Pelletier envisioned.
Pelletier said he aimed for an atmosphere both “comfortable and elegant; I think we’ve mastered that in here.”
He acknowledged the potential financial risk in opening a new restaurant in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, but said Barry’s Kitchen was underway before shutdown orders began taking place throughout Maine and the rest of the country.
“We were already in the works before COVID started,” he said.
Although the eatery offers takeout, Pelletier added that the indoor space amply provides for six-foot distancing between customer tables.
“I’m just grateful I get to see old customers again. It’s a nice feeling to see them out and about and enjoying themselves,” Pelletier said. “I like to create dishes and I like when people enjoy what they’re eating.”
For more information about Barry’s Kitchen and to view a full menu, visit the restaurant’s Facebook page.