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ELLSWORTH, Maine — Owner Corey Bedard calls his new business Hidden Vibez Taproom, and you can’t fault his logic.
The address of the former Chummies live music bar and lounge is 59 Franklin St. in downtown Ellsworth, but you can’t see the place from Franklin Street. A narrow, unmarked path that runs from Franklin around the northwest side of the building to the rear — a hidden path, Bedard called it — gets you there unless you approach from Water Street.
And since Chummies closed May 31 and the 23-year-old Bedard made some changes to it before reopening his eight-tap bar Sept. 6, it’s no longer the chummy place it used to be, Bedard said.
“I just needed [it] to have a better vibe than what it had before,” Bedard said. “I needed something uplifting, for the younger people, the younger crowd.”
Bedard tore out the approximately 10-square-foot stage and says the place will no longer feature live music or bands. Hidden Vibez, which employs five people, opened up a garage adjacent to its main room as a space where people can dance. And the bar might soon use the restaurant space above the garage, which is closed and accessible from Franklin Street, to serve food, Bedard said.
The bar’s staff are also considering expanding the ground-level back porch, said bar manager Tim Martin, a 34-year-old from Ellsworth.
“We created a dance room [in the garage] so that more people could enjoy this place,” Martin said.
They are still working on the spot, which Bedard bought at the end of June for an undisclosed price. Bedard came into the business after working for his father’s automotive service station in Newport. He liked the idea of owning Chummies, he said, because it’s a well-known and rather laid-back place.
“I think what made it worth getting is the people that travel through here every year, the tourists,” Bedard said. “We hope to make a lot of good things happen here. This is a good place.”