The owners of hit LoHi restaurants Bar Dough and Señor Bear already have their hands full opening a new French restaurant, Morin, this summer. But now Culinary Creative partners have announced another project coming down the pike that they’re collaborating on: a New England seafood joint called Maine Shack. The restaurant will replace Uber Eats, which closed late last year at 1535 Central Street.
Maine Shack is bringing to the Lower Highlands coastal seafood specials like lobster rolls and fried clams as well as hot and cold roast beef sandwiches, sides, New England beers, and wines. “The whole restaurant is basically a tribute to the state of Maine and its food,” said Maine Shack founder and co-owner Drew Ryan.
He tapped Boston native and current Bar Dough chef Craig Dixon to helm the kitchen. Dixon grew up working a North Shore clam shack and is creating this menu now with the help of chef and consulting partner Max MacKissock. The pair could have as many as five different lobster rolls available at any given time (see lobster salad, hot buttered lobster, “seafood do the talking” lobster, and other lobsters that eaters might not have previously imagined).
Earlier this year, Ryan scoured Maine with lobstermen and builder friends for buoys, traps, barn wood, and other found objects in order to recreate his home state. “You’re going to be stepping out of Denver into Maine,” he says of the new space. A giant wall mural of the Portland Head Light, Cape Elizabeth’s iconic lighthouse, will greet diners when the “shack” opens by mid-to-late summer. Though this is his first restaurant, Ryan grew up working for his dad’s coastal food distributorship. He says he wants everything here to feel authentic.
An authentic roster of East Coast transplants is certainly coming together to build the Denver Shack. Hailing from New Hampshire, Maine, and Massachusetts, they’re finding plenty of common ground in the restaurant’s seafood dishes. And diners can get an early taste on June 16 in Bar Dough’s dining room. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Dixon will be slinging lobster there in all its glorious forms — tails with clarified butter, meaty mac and cheese, and then those lobstah rolls, of course.