The Met Coffee House and Fine Art Gallery on Main Street in downtown in Freeport opened in February. Photo by Eric Russell

FREEPORT — Main Street in Freeport, anchored by retail giant L.L. Bean, has long been associated with shopping, but there hasn’t always been an abundance of lunch spots for hungry visitors over the years.

One new eatery – The Met Coffee House and Fine Art Gallery, which opened in February – could help fill that demand.

On a weekday last week, the café (which shares a building with Levi’s and Loft outlets) hummed with patrons who could choose from 20 or so sandwich and salad options.

There were hot and cold sandwiches, including the cold roast turkey and cheddar on cranberry ciabatta ($12.95) and the hot chicken Parmesan on rosemary baguette (also $12.95).

The Met also serves open-faced sandwiches on an Armenian flatbread called lavash. That’s not something I’ve seen elsewhere, so I headed in that direction. There were four choices, one with a bouquet of vegetables, marinara and mozzarella, another that was Thanksgiving dinner-themed, a crispy chicken bacon ranch and a classic Caprese.

A caprese topped lavash (a type of Armenian flatbread) served at The Met Coffee House and Fine Art Gallery in Freeport Photo by Eric Russell

I ordered the Caprese ($12.95) from a teenage staff member, who felt compelled to tell me that what I was ordering was flatbread, as if sensing I might want to change my mind. I didn’t.


As I waited (less than 10 minutes) for my food, I surveyed the space. The interior is immensely inviting. The counter where patrons order is off to the left as you enter, but there are several small tables, as well as couch and chair seats for coffee sippers. It’s clean and modern.

The walls are covered with framed paintings and photographs from local artists (it’s an art gallery, too), which adds to a warm aesthetic. There are also a handful of tables under umbrellas on the sidewalk out front.

Owners Larry and Diane Flaherty also own and operate two other locations, both in North Conway, New Hampshire, another well-known outlet shopping destination. The original Met Coffee House opened in North Conway in 2002. The Flahertys, who were frequent visitors to the area and stopped there regularly, bought the business in 2015 and then opened a second location four years later, according to the business’s website.

Last year, while visiting Freeport, the couple saw space for lease on Main Street and thought it might work for a third location.

But back to the food. The lavash arrived on a shallow plastic plate with parchment paper to catch some of the cheese and pesto grease. It looked more or less like a flatbread pizza, cut into triangles for easy consumption.

The flatbread was crispy toward the edge and slightly chewy toward the middle where the toppings sat. The mozzarella melted perfectly with the basil pesto sauce. The tomatoes were thinly sliced and evenly spaced, although I could have used one or two more for balance. The final ingredient was a drizzle of barbecue sauce, which I thought might clash with the traditional caprese flavors but was a pleasant surprise.

The portion was a good size for lunch. The only downside was that it was a little messy.

The Met is open daily from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and, in addition to lunch, has a handful of hot breakfast items, a variety of pastries and a full coffee, latte and espresso menu.

The café definitely has the vibe of a modern coffee house, but visitors shouldn’t sleep on it as a lunch option.

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