BREWER, Maine — The restaurateur behind Kosta’s in Brewer and Old Town, along with several pizza shops in the region, is turning his gaze to the Penobscot River.
Thomas Shanos of Hampden is setting up shop at the former site of Schooners Seafood and Steakhouse on the Brewer Waterfront. His new restaurant, called High Tide, will feature a seafood-focused menu, with options including steaks and pasta for those not up for something from the sea.
Shanos is in the midst of an overhaul of the building’s first floor, which started May 5, and he wants to hire a night crew in order for the work to continue around the clock. He said he hopes to open the doors around the third week in June.
“We’re not keeping anything the way it used to be,” Shanos said of the renovation.
The restaurant will include a pub section with a large, horseshoe-shaped bar, televisions airing sporting events and seating for about 50 diners. The bar section will have its own menu, Shanos said.
He’ll be seeking liquor license approval from the city during a meeting May 20.
In all, the restaurant will have indoor seating for about 225 people. But Shanos said one of the biggest draws of the location was its waterfront setting and position across the river from Darling’s Waterfront Pavillion and the big-name performances in Bangor.
He said seats will be available on the deck overlooking the water and concert venue during performances and nice weather. Crews also will install a bar on the deck.
“We really want to get some dining business through the doors before winter,” he said.
Shanos said he plans on hiring about 50 employees. He also said he would love to bring in any former Schooners’ employees still looking for work.
Dr. Brad Rand, who runs a dentistry practice in Brewer with his father, purchased the Schooners building early this year. The second floor is under renovation to serve as their new office space, and the first floor is being leased to Shanos.
Shanos opened Kosta’s in Brewer in 2006, with a menu featuring Greek, Italian and American cuisine. That sprouted a second restaurant in Old Town in 2010, which Shanos has since sold to new owners. He also is a former proprietor of Angelo’s Pizza on Stillwater Avenue, as well as Orono House of Pizza and the Lincoln House of Pizza.
Kosta’s is remaining open and performing well, Shanos said. He will be supervising renovations at High Tide until its opening, and then he will work in the kitchen until he finds a chef who is the right fit and has trained the kitchen staff.