Bucksport hidden gem inspired by the town's spirit

BUCKSPORT, Maine (WABI) - On Main Street there is a spot many consider a hidden gem of Bucksport and owner Colleen Gross will tell you why.

"Because you really do have to search us out."

For the last four years Colleen and her husband, Mike, a teacher in Bucksport, have been making a name for themselves here at Verona Wine and Design.

"So my husband will take a wine barrel and he will create things like this bench down here, and wondering racks, coat racks, we even take the hoops from the barrels and we make different shapes."

The business doesn't stop here.

"We actually looked through the window here and we saw this space, just grass and not being used for any purpose. We asked the landlord how he felt about us developing a little courtyard."

The landlord agreed and that's when everything fell into place.

In their European-style courtyard they serve food and of course wine. Colleen says it's all been like a dream.

"A whirlwind. Two people who have never down anything in the restaurant industry before in our lives and we started this little tapas bar and it's grown incredibly."

Colleen says they did it when they realized the bright future Bucksport had after they started volunteering with the town after the mill closed.

"When we discovered the energy and vision of things that people would like to see here in town that's when we decided ok, it's time to move out of our garage and find a space."

"It's our favorite place."

Jared Bowden and his wife are regulars. He's also a firefighter and brought them on board to cater the Bangor Professional Fighters Jingle Ball on December 13th.

"They've always been extremely community-oriented."

Colleen says they give back because the community has been so supportive of them.

"From the town office to the fellow merchants on Main Street, everybody supports everybody else."

Although Coleen says their regulars ask her all the time, they are not expanding any time soon. She says they are happy with where they are at now."

"Plus we're not getting any younger so I'm not sure how much more of this I could take. It's a party every night. But we love it."

You can find more information including their hours of operation on their Facebook page.