The T-shirt in the foreground is one of 100 made to replicate the originals worn by the staff when Alisson’s opened in 1973. The shirts will be presented to the first 100 visitors to the 45th anniversary open house on Nov. 8 from 5 to 9 p.m. The shirt is featured in the upstairs dining room, which features windows overlooking Dock Square. Abigail Worthing/Kennebunk Post

KENNEBUNKPORT – For the past 45 years, Alisson’s Restaurant has been a landmark in Kennebunkport. Nestled near the water and looking onto Dock Square, locals and tourists alike stop by throughout the year to enjoy its coastal fare.

For the 45th anniversary, the restaurant will host an open house on Thursday, Nov. 8 from 5 to 9 p.m. The event is free and open to the public, with no tickets or reservations required.
The party will feature tray-passed hors-d’oeuvres, an oyster bar, live music and a cash bar. The restaurant will also be giving away a free T-shirt to the first hundred people through the door, made to replicate the original shirt worn when the restaurant opened in 1973.
Ashley Padget is the general manager of Alisson’s, the third generation of her family to work in the business. She is the granddaughter of the original owners, Beatrice and Francis Condon. The couple purchased the location, formerly Smith’s Market and Chat and Chew Restaurant, and changed the names to Dock Square Market and Alisson’s Restaurant.
The restaurant is still very much a family business, with Padget and her brother, Adam, taking the reins of operations. They recently had the fourth generation of the family join the team, with their nephew and niece working summers at the restaurant as bussers.
“My cousins and I all grew up working here,” Padget said. “All of our family has come through here.”
The restaurant originally had 35 seats, however, when the couples oldest children, Mike Condon and Pam Padget, purchased the business from their parents in 1984, they consolidated the two businesses into one, closing the market and expanding the restaurant.
The construction included the addition of a bar to the first floor and a 50-seat dining area on the second floor, which can be rented as an event space.
“They couldn’t have known, when they bought this place, what the town would become,” said Ashley Padget, speaking of her grandparents. “It ended up being a really good decision.”
Over the last few years, renovations have been made to the building to upgrade the decades-old business.
“Some of the stuff in here has been here forever,” Ashley Padget said. “We don’t want to change much, but it’s important to update.”
Of the updates done to the bar was the implementation of additional taps, bringing the number up to 22, and a shift in the offerings to more craft beer.
While the team at Alisson’s relies heavily on the tourist business, it works hard to ensure that the restaurant stays familiar to local guests, as it relies on local patronage after the tourist season ends.
“We’re busy all through the summer, right up until the end of October, because people travel here all throughout the fall,” Padget said. “After that, it’s our local crowd that supports us through the rest of the season. The tables by the window (overlooking Dock Square) are really popular during Christmas Prelude.”
Padget prides the restaurant on being a part of the community in Kennebunkport, and said that when the restaurant does donate funds to causes, they strive to keep the funds local to the Kennebunk, Kennebunkport and Arundel.
For the anniversary event, Alisson’s Restaurant will donate proceeds to the Education Foundation of the Kennebunks.
“We’re proud to be part of this community, so we want to keep the donations in town,” Padget said.
All are invited to attend the open house on Nov. 8 from 5 to 9 p.m.

Contact Staff Writer Abigail Worthing at [email protected].

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