September 5, 2013

Bar Guide: At Gather, a comfortable place to converge

The drink menu is simple: Draught beer, wine (red, white, bubbles and port) and bottled and canned beer.

By CLAIRE JEFFERS

Gather, Matt Chappell's farm-to-table restaurant in downtown Yarmouth, will be celebrating its one-year anniversary this month.

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A popular place to spend an evening, the Gather bar is lively and friendly.

Photos by Claire Jeffers

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Pretty Things Quad beer for $9 and a glass of Gotham Project red blend for $6.

GATHER

WHERE: 189 Main St., Yarmouth

PHONE: 847-3250

WEBSITE: gathermaine.com

HOURS: 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday; 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sunday

SPECIALS: Check the Facebook page for updates. Happy hour is from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and features $3 beer and wine.

AMENITIES: Outdoor patio, gluten-free options, communal seating, high ceilings

PARKING: Free lot; street parking

BOTTOM LINE: Gather is a huge presence as a restaurant, but the menu, service and decor will make you feel at ease.

WHEELCHAIR ACCESS: Yes

The first year for any restaurant is crucial, but for a place like Gather, whose concept was strong and focused from the beginning, it should come as no surprise that the restaurant has already built a patio for roughly 30 additional seats.  

No surprise, sure, given Gather's success this year, but the add-on speaks volumes considering the restaurant is housed in the giant, repurposed 1860s Masonic Hall on Main Street -- which is to say, there was presumably enough seating from the start.

For instance, there's one table inside that seats 18. Yes, one big long table (lit by candles from metallic orbs from above) meant to invite communal seating (strangers bump elbows). Then there are booths that line one wall and stand-alone tables throughout the room -- a room that feels more like the mess hall from Harry Potter.

The bar juts out from the opposite wall with about 10 seats (comfortable stools with backs) and a friendly, easy-going bartender who fills drink orders and bounces from kitchen to customer.

While the dining room is filled (from Tuesday through Saturday, you can count on it being busy) with a mix of families and romantic dates, the bar at Gather seems to be a suitable option for the casual couple that splits a grass-fed burger and fries, a sophisticated girls night out or the lone diner who enjoys watching the action on stage -- in this case, the kitchen is propped up on a former stage. 

Gather's drink menu is simple: Draught beer, wine (red, white, bubbles and port) and bottled and canned beer. There's also a "draft wine" for $6 a glass or $14 for a half carafe made by the Gotham Project.

Happy hour is usually just Fridays and Saturdays from 4 to 6 p.m. and features beer and wine for $3, but customers are encouraged to check the restaurant's Facebook page for updates about drink specials (lemon-thyme Prosecco for $8 was recently featured) and bar snack specials.

Chef Chad Conley's starter menu gives an idea of what the bar snacks could be: Deviled eggs, meatballs, Bangs Island mussels, kale, ricotta and walnut fritters, just to name a few.

For Yarmouth residents, Gather has figured out a way to bring the community together through an inviting, open space and a casual, down-to-earth menu.

And for the rest of us, well, we can reap the benefits in just a 15-minute drive.

 

Claire Jeffers is a freelance writer.

 

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