BAR HARBOR, Maine — Seasonal shuffling of local businesses is not unusual in this seaside tourist destination, where many shops and restaurants shut down during the quiet winter months.
One local restaurateur will finish up 2013 with several changes to his portfolio since the year began. In the past several months, Michael Boland has sold three businesses in Bar Harbor, partnered in opening another restaurant down the street, and acquired a longtime French restaurant on Route 1 in Hancock.
In Bar Harbor, Rupununi, Carmen Verandah and Joe’s Smoke Shop have been sold to the Bond family, which also owns and operates local restaurants Fish House Grille, Log Cabin and Cherrystone’s, Boland indicated in an email last week. He said he still owns the Main Street building where Rupununi, Carmen Verandah and Joe’s Smoke Shop are located.
This past summer, Boland, along with Jimmy Velas and Cassady Pappas, bought the former Chowdah’s farther south on Main Street and have reopened it as the Downtown Lobster Pound. The new, seasonal eatery features outdoor seating, lobster cookers on the patio and in 2014 will add a smoker for preparing barbecue meats, he added.
Boland said he recently acquired the Le Domaine restaurant and inn in Hancock from Winter Harbor resident Edith Dixon in a straight swap for J.M. Gerrish, a former ice cream parlor on Winter Harbor’s Main Street. Boland had acquired J.M. Gerrish from Roxanne Quimby, who had acquired it from Dixon’s late husband, Fitz Eugene Dixon.
Boland said he and his partners plan to rename the Hancock eatery “Ironbound” and open for business next May. He also plans to continue operating the attached five-room inn.
“It will be more casual then Le Domaine was and focused on seasonal American food with an Irish/English public house feel,” Boland wrote. “However, we hope to try to honor the rich history of Le Domaine by maintaining a great French wine list.”
Boland will continue to own and operate Havana and Guinness & Porcelli’s, both of which are in Bar Harbor. He also is a co-owner, along with Dawn Lamendola, of the House Wine retail shop on Main Street.
In addition to taking on the new properties, Boland said Havana is undergoing a major renovation and, for the first time in 14 years, will be closed on New Year’s Eve. He said an Argentinian-style wood-fired grill, with a surrounding bar and patio seating, is being added on the side of the building and that the kitchen and bathrooms inside are being expanded. The existing bar and dining rooms will remain as they are.
In the past 20 years, Boland has operated many other restaurants, including some in Bangor and Portland. He owned and operated Havana South in Portland from 2010 to 2011 and has been an owner and operator of Miguel’s in Bar Harbor and Bangor, as well as the Criterion Theater in Bar Harbor. Miguel’s Bar Harbor location closed in 2011 and Boland is no longer involved in Miguel’s in Bangor.
He originally opened Guinness & Porcelli’s in Bangor in 2002 before relocating it to Bar Harbor a few years later. At various times Boland also has leased and operated Duffy’s Quarterdeck in Bar Harbor and Mama’s Boy Bistro in Winter Harbor.