Sunny weather isn’t going to wait around for you. Spring is not a needy girlfriend. And wasting the sunshine away tipping back lagers in a windowless pub is, quite frankly, an insult to Mother Nature.
We don’t want to insult Mother Nature.
Instead, when warm temperatures and sunshine make an appearance, we need to take advantage. That means moving happy hour to the happy outside.
There’s no shortage of outdoor tables, rooftop decks and beachfront patios in Maine, but we’ve singled out some of the best outdoor spaces to chill out, bask in the long summer days and enjoy some local libations.
1. A deck for the dogs: Portland Lobster Company
With a deck that stretches out over the water, an outdoor bar and a stellar Commercial Street backdrop, Portland Lobster Company is ideal for drinking in town. Find live music nightly and during the day on weekends. Even better, your furry, four-legged pal is welcome to join you.
180 Commercial St., Portland
2. Portland’s secret garden: Eve’s at the Garden, Portland Harbor Hotel
Everyone loves Portland Harbor Hotel’s Ice Bar in winter, but the patio at Eve’s at the Garden is prime sunshine property in warmer weather. It’s a classy hidden gem decked with flora and bubbling fountains.
468 Fore St., Portland
3. Flip flops and fire pits: Pirates Patio and Galley
A stone’s throw from the Atlantic and with a fire pit close at hand, Pirates Patio offers a beach party experience complete with live music and sand underfoot.
2 Walnut St., Old Orchard Beach
4. Cover bands and covered patio: Rick’s Cafe and Sports Bar
Wide doors open onto a large, covered outdoor space at Rick’s Cafe, making the transition from inside to outside almost seamless. Or head upstairs – Rick’s isn’t ashamed of a little double-decker deck action. A local cover band, Last Kid Picked, plays often and is worth seeking out.
On the Causeway, Naples
5. Easy, breezy boat-watching: Arundel Wharf Restaurant
There’s water on three sides of the outdoor deck at Arundel Wharf Restaurant, meaning the boat-watching is easy wherever you sit. Snag a table or take a drink to the reclined seat of one of the restaurant’s comfy Adirondack chairs.
43 Ocean Ave., Kennebunkport
6. Welcome to the dockside: Schooner Landing Restaurant
The boats nodding in the water just off Schooner Landing’s deck can lure you into a happy nap. But the lively outdoor music and deck-top dancing will get you on your feet again. Friday boasts free oysters and live entertainment, and Sunday welcomes regular Pier Parties.
40 Main St., Damariscotta
7. Down by the river: Sea Dog Brewing Co.
The Androscoggin River flows rapidly underfoot at Sea Dog Brewing in Topsham. Watching all that water sure does make one thirsty. The Sea Dog brews, like Apricot Wheat or Blue Paw Wheat Ale, can satiate that summer need.
1 Main St., Topsham
8. A deck to impress: Saltwater Grille
A good way to get a stellar view of Portland is to get out of it. Across Casco Bay in South Portland, Saltwater Grille’s sweet deck offers a scenic perspective of the peninsula and the water. It’s the sort of ambience that can easily impress a girlfriend’s parents, and it’s also a choice spot to catch Portland’s Fourth of July fireworks.
231 Front St., South Portland
9. Old Port rooftop: Mathew’s
It’s hard to spot the rooftop decks from street level, but Mathew’s in Portland has an airy outdoor space overhead, if you know to look for it. Order some Jell-O shots from the bar and head outside to work on your tan unimpeded by umbrellas, overhangs or foliage.
133 Free St., Portland
10. Wharf-top happy hour: Porthole Restaurant
A longstanding happy hour staple, the Porthole Restaurant lures the office-working masses for after-hours camaraderie and rejuvenation. The folks from Coast 93.1 broadcast live from the waterfront deck on Fridays from 5 to 7 p.m. starting this week.
20 Custom House Wharf, Portland
11. Surrounded by fire: Torches Patio Pub & Grille Restaurant
Just as the sun begins to dip below the western horizon, the warming fires are lit at Torches. It’s a tiki bar feel on the side of Route 1 with live tunes Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Duck under an umbrella’ed table during the day to escape the fire in the sky.
757 Post Road, Wells
12. Bean bags and biers: Novare Res Bier Cafe
The ample deck at Novare Res always feels like a discovered treasure, even if you’ve been there a dozen times before. Experiment with the unique beer list and pass an afternoon conquering the world at Cornhole.
4 Canal Plaza, Portland
13. A sea of motorcycles: Bentley’s Saloon
It’s hog heaven at Bentley’s in Arundel. While the parking lot fills with motorcycles like a field of steel cattle, the huge front deck fills with locals on a break from a summer ride. Barbecues and pig roasts abound on weekends, with live music and a sandy volleyball court in the back.
1601 Portland Road, Arundel
Staff Writer Shannon Bryan can be contacted at 791-6333 or at: