Owner Ginger Cote (far right) and staff of Big Babe’s Tavern on the restaurant’s stage, home to a variety of musicians, many of whom are local, said General Manager Caitlin Houser. Catherine Bart/Sentry

SOUTH PORTLAND — There isn’t a television in sight at Big Babe’s Tavern and that’s because it’s all about the music and live performances on 60 Ocean St.

Opened on Jan. 27, Big Babe’s Tavern is the dream of musician Ginger Cote, who is originally from Aroostook County, said General Manager Caitlin Houser.

Cote said that she felt there was a lack of music venues in the South Portland community. It took about three years for her idea to become real, and it’s been worth it so far.

“It’s been great with the live music, seeing people get along and dance,” she said.

Musicians are booked each week from Thursday to Sunday, said Houser, with a little bit of everything, from rock to classic country to soul funk. The tavern features many local musicians as well.

Big Babe’s menu is about comfort food, said Houser. Items like “a really great cheeseburger,” shepherd’s pie and poutine have been a hit so far. There are also plenty of vegan and vegetarian options to pick.

The full bar at the tavern is focused on tequila, and there are a variety of cans, like beers and ciders, said Houser.

Cote said the addition to the Knightville neighborhood has so far been a success, and people have been slowly discovering Big Babe’s.

“We’re happy to be in the neighborhood,” she said. “And I’m glad people are supporting and joining it.”

Some acts include The Working Dead, a Grateful Dead tribute band, Raging Brass, which is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 22, and El Malo, scheduled for Feb. 23.

Patrons should look out for special shows and lineups during St. Patrick’s Day and Mardi Gras, said Houser. The music schedule is on the tavern’s website: www.bigbabestavern.com.

Big Babe’s Tavern is filling a musical void, serving a robust community that’s sometimes overshadowed by Portland, said Houser.

“This really is a wonderful neighborhood,” she said. “The bridge kind of made this place forgotten. There’s a lot to be said about South Portland, and it has a lot to offer, like beaches, eating and shopping.”

While it’s still a little early to gauge success, Houser said, she and Cote are glad to be bringing another live music opportunity for the people in South Portland.

Big Babe’s is open Tuesdays through Sundays at 3 p.m.

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