Outdoor dining experiences highlighted by Maine Office of Tourism

Maine Outdoor Dine lists 90 restaurants where you can comfortably dine outside
90 Maine restaurants are being highlighted for their outdoor dining.
90 Maine restaurants are being highlighted for their outdoor dining.(wabi)
Published: Mar. 15, 2021 at 5:07 PM EDT
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PORTLAND, Maine (WABI) - A new public education campaign is encouraging tourists and locals alike to dine outside at their favorite restaurants.

The Greater Portland Council of Governments received a $50,000 grant from the Maine Office of Tourism to create the Maine Outdoor Dine campaign. Steve Lyons is the director of the Maine Office of Tourism.

”A lot of people were struggling to keep their businesses open so they were looking for creative solutions. I’ve seen some that have these plastic igloos you can go in that are heated. Others are doing heated patios. Some are handing out blankets for people to wear over their laps.”

90 restaurants around the state are being highlighted for their outdoor dining experiences as part of the campaign. Timber Kitchen and Bar in Bangor has been using igloo-like structures on their patio since last fall. Executive front of house manager Cody Osborne says the additional buzz generated by the unique seating has been great for business.

“Definitely born from necessity but one of those things that you just love and keep. You have an intimate atmosphere but you still get the beautiful food of the restaurant.”

Jon Stein, owner of Fogtown Brewing Company in Ellsworth, says he has been unable to use their indoor space for over a year now. They’ve put all their energy into a beer garden.

“In addition to wanting to use the outdoor space that was the only space we could use. Planted garden beds, built an outdoor pizza oven, bought a bunch of picnic tables, put in a lot of effort to clean the space up.”

You can find a list of all participating restaurants at MaineOutdoorDine.com

Customers can also enter for a chance to win $50 gift cards by sharing a photo of their dining experience on social media.

Steve Lyons says this summer is looking much more positive than the last one. “There’s a pent up demand out there so more people will be coming to visit the state.”

Fogtown hopes to use the extra attention to help others that have struggled for business during the pandemic as well.

“Getting as many local musicians and artist back in the beer garden for performances because we interact with those people on a day to day basis and we know how difficult it is for everybody.”

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