Tuesday, March 11, 2014
By EMMA BOUTHILLETTE
Old Orchard Beach is very quiet this time of year, but that doesn't mean the seaside town is abandoned. Many businesses stay open during the winter and cater to locals who live there year round.
JJ’s Eatery Too bartender Kristen Keenan shakes a “chocolate-covered pretzel martini” while Sam Maddams and Lauryn Goyet dine at the bar in Old Orchard Beach.
John Patriquin/Staff Photographer
JJ'S EATERY TOO
WHERE: 12B Old Orchard St., Old Orchard Beach
WEBSITE: Find JJ's Eatery Too on Facebook at tinyurl.com/b9pexdj
HOURS: 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday to Friday; 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday and Sunday
PARKING: Lot or on street
SCENE: A casual hangout for locals and tourists.
JJ's Eatery Too is one of those places.
I joined my friend Anne there on a recent night to catch up over drinks and dinner. Most of the seats at the bar were taken, so I grabbed us a high-top pub table. The bartender quickly came from behind the bar with menus, and set us up with dark-blue mason jars filled with ice water.
We both were being incredibly indecisive as far as what to drink. There's no drink menu at JJ's, but the bartenders are great at mixing any liquor drink and serving a variety of beer and wine.
I ordered Crown Royale and ginger ale. Anne told the bartender to be creative. She returned just a few minutes later with my drink and a cocktail made with blueberry vodka and lemonade for Anne. Both were served in pint glasses. Mine cost $8.
The bar has a really casual atmosphere. Patrons were feeding dollars into a digital jukebox and choosing from a variety of tunes. On JJ's Facebook page, the bar regularly posts pictures of fliers listing live entertainment on different nights of the week throughout the month.
JJ's is more than just a bar, though. It's a restaurant that cares about community, and hosts events that include all ages. In conjunction with OOB365's Winter Carnival this weekend, JJ's is hosting a "Character Breakfast" for the children of the community.
For Anne, JJ's is like her version of "Cheers." She and her husband frequent JJ's often for dinner and drinks. She ordered one of her favorites for dinner, the homemade turkey soup and chicken quesadillas. I ordered a Rueben with sweet potato french fries.
Even though we weren't sitting right at the bar, the bartender was really good about checking on us. I easily could think she was that attentive because she knew Anne, but I get the feeling that all the staff at JJ's is that friendly and welcoming.
During the summer, JJ's gets busier, with tourists joining the locals. It has some patio seating available for warm weather.
Just don't let the smell of Pier Fries distract you from heading around the corner to enjoy a cool drink at JJ's Eatery Too.
Emma Bouthillette is a freelance writer who lives in Biddeford.