Thursday, May 23, 2013
By EMMA BOUTHILLETTE
It's tempting for locals to avoid touristy places -- even entire towns -- come midsummer. Traffic is a bear. Parking is near impossible. Finding a seat at the bar -- just forget about it.
Bartender Lacy Sheetz prepares to serve a customer at Post Road Tavern, a place that doesn’t forget about year-round Mainers during the frenzied few months of summer tourism.
John Ewing/Staff Photographer
POST ROAD TAVERN
WHERE: 705 Main St., Ogunquit; 641-0640, postroadtavern.com
HOURS: 3 p.m. to midnight Monday to Friday; noon to midnight Saturday and Sunday
SPECIALS: Two-dollar margaritas on Monday; get a pint for a penny with any purchase of a full-priced entree on Tuesday; $5 for a burger on Wednesday ($6 if it's a cheeseburger); chef's choice Thursday and Sunday; fried chicken dinner for $12 Friday; PRT mussels $5.95 all day Saturday
AMENITIES: Soon to have draft beers brewed on site by Rocky Coast Brewing
SCENE: A small tavern that caters to locals just outside the hubbub of downtown Ogunquit.
Luckily, there are places like Post Road Tavern that don't forget about the locals during the few short months that tourists infiltrate the area. Located on Route 1 just before downtown Ogunquit as you're driving south, the tavern has a convenient parking lot, and is somewhat off the beaten path.
My friend Ashley and I pulled right in, parked near the door, and sauntered up to two seats at the bar. The bar keep, who happens to be the tavern's owner, Jim Orser, welcomed us right away. He also carded us immediately, taking his job to serve to those only of legal age very seriously.
When I asked if he had any drink specials, Orser suggested a key lime pie margarita concoction that he "accidently" whipped up the night before. He also provided us with a drink list, which features seven cocktails between $7 and $9 each.
I was sold on the innovative margarita, however, so I went with that. Ashley ordered a pint of Original Sin hard cider, which has a green snake wrapped around the tap handle and a bitten apple on top.
Orser prides himself on having a number of quality beers on tap, and rotates the selections about every four days. He will even take the time to suggest a brew that you'll enjoy and that will complement your food, should you be eating. One guest requested a certain draft, and Orser encouraged him to go a different route by offering samples of more suitable beers.
Post Road Tavern will soon be offering its own brews as well. Orser pointed out equipment that was recently set up to the side of the dining area. He anticipates that the bar will have beers from the new Rocky Coast Brewing by mid-August.
I was pretty impressed with my newly invented margarita. It tasted just like key lime pie, and was made with Malibu Rum as its base liquor instead of tequila. Ashley's hard cider was good too, considering it was a brand neither of us had heard of before.
One television behind the bar was tuned to a sports network, and the volume was up, which I found interesting. On one hand, it's nice because I hate staring at a screen and not hearing the audio that goes with the picture. On the other hand, it was a constant sound in the background of the conversation Ashley and I were having.
There's nothing too fancy about Post Road Tavern. It's simply decorated with chalkboards to advertise specials. I was intrigued by the number of patches from various fire and police departments that were tacked on two posts near the bar.
Orser was one of the chattiest bartenders I've seen in a while. He kept checking in on us and a few other folks at the bar whom he appeared to know from their regular visits.
By the end of our drinks and meal, Ashley and I agreed that Post Road Tavern is the kind of place where you can go and hang out all night -- even on a slow night -- and still have a good time.
Emma Bouthillette is a freelance writer who lives in Biddeford.