The bar at Ken’s Place attracts more locals than the rest of the establishment, which is about half tourists. Photos by Angie Bryan

One of many fried seafood beach-style establishments on Pine Point Road, Ken’s Place distinguishes itself with its cozy eight-seat bar nestled into a corner.  My drinking companion and I were lucky enough to grab the last two seats and were pleased to discover comfortable wooden barstools with backs, purse hooks under the bar, and a spacious bar counter complete with a raw bar (oysters, littleneck clams and jumbo shrimp cocktail) and a ceiling fan.

Ken’s offers 10 specialty cocktails (including a mudslide and a house-infused limoncello), each for $9. It even has a Bloody Mary using a house-made mix to which you can add jumbo shrimp for $1, an oyster for $2.25 or a littleneck clam for $1.75.

The Gin Blossom and the Malibu Mai Tai are both made use of blackberry liquer.

My friend ordered the Gin Blossom (Bombay Sapphire, blackberry liquer, ginger ale, and lime); I went with the Malibu Mai Tai (coconut rum, blackberry liquer, pineapple and cranberry juice). Despite the fact that both drinks contained blackberry liqueur, they were surprisingly different. Both were good, sweet but not too much so, and you could definitely taste the gin in my friend’s drink. In keeping with the beachy atmosphere, our drinks arrived in large plastic cups; bartender Lynn was friendly and efficient, even telling us a funny joke along the way. I’d repeat it here, but it’s not appropriate for children. Then again, they’d have no reason to be reading a bar review.

Ken’s also has a decent number of wine and beer options. The house wines are $6 a glass; the nine other choices (three whites, one rosé, one prosecco and four reds) are $8 a glass. There are three draft beers ($3.50 to $6.50) and 18 bottled ones ($3.75 to $5.25), including a gluten-free option and a hard seltzer  (which I know is technically not a beer, but, hey, that’s how they listed it on the menu).

If you’re hungry, Ken’s can help. The food menu includes the usual seafood items such as lobster stew ($7.50), clam chowder ($3.75), crab salad ($15.99), lobster roll ($13.99) and a fisherman’s platter ($26.99 for fried haddock, clams, shrimp and scallops), as well as nonseafood items like a grilled chicken salad ($9.50), a cheeseburger ($7.29) and chicken nuggets ($10.95).

Like many places in the area, Ken’s is only open seasonally, and this year it closes in late October. Tourists comprise about half the clientele, but the bar tends to sway local – and friendly and chatty. Many of the patrons already knew each other – not surprising given that Ken’s has been in business for more than 90 years (no, that is not a typo). My friend and I even witnessed the beginning sparks of what appeared to be a potential love match – wherever y’all are, I hope you had a fun evening after we left!

Angie Bryan is a former diplomat who is enjoying getting acquainted with her new home in Portland, one cocktail at a time.

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