Alex Markakis, co-owner of Cowbell Wood-Fire Grill, opening in early march on 185 US Route 1 in Scarborough. Sun Journal photo by Andree Kehn

SCARBOROUGH — Cowbell Wood-Fired Grill, a high-end burger establishment, as co-owner Alex Markakis called it, will be opening east of the Oak Hill neighborhood of Scarborough in early March.

Cowbell Wood-Fire Grill, located on U.S. Route 1, will be the chain’s third location, the first being in Biddeford and the second in Lewiston, for business partners Markakis and Jim Albert, who also owns Jimmy the Greeks in Old Orchard Beach, as the pair are ready to bring the brand into the Scarborough market.

The timing felt right, as commercial and residential growth continues to move through the town’s various neighborhoods, Markakis said.

“Scarborough seems like a tight-knit community,” he said. “We like to be involved in the communities we’re in. We’re always looking for charities to donate to. I especially like to tie in with the youth community. We pride ourselves and don’t like to be too corporate.”

Cowbell Burger Bar, open in Biddeford for the past four years, and Cowbell Grill & Tap, located in Lewiston for about one year, offer over 25 specialty burgers, said Markakis. Scarborough’s location will be the first with a wood-fire grill, giving the burgers a more unique, smoky taste.

The restaurant will also feature over 25 taps, he said, but the new location won’t deviate too much from existing ones.


“We believe our concept works because it’s simple and we have a good menu,” said Markakis. “If you’re good at just one thing, you don’t have to go in different directions.”

Besides burgers, Cowbell’s menu offers appetizers like mac and cheese and a handful of sandwich options.

The two partners see the restaurant as more than just food, said Markakis. They call their style “eat-ertainment,” as Cowbell Wood-Fire Grill will host karaoke and trivia nights as well as live performances and musicians.

Markakis said that he’s excited to bring the Cowbell brand to a new group of Mainers, those who may not get the opportunity to drive through Biddeford or Lewiston regularly.

“Scarborough is obviously a great location and kind of central to everything,” he said. “It’s a different market as well, Oak Hill — there’s a lot of traffic from South Portland, Portland.”

Once opened, the hours will be daily, from 11 a.m. to closing, said Markakis. As he is unsure when construction will be complete, the opening day is still undecided.

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