Five Islands Lobster Co. in Georgetown, shown in 2019, closed Thursday until next May in part because of a staffing shortage. Jack Milton/Staff Photographer

Popular Georgetown seafood shack Five Islands Lobster Co. has closed for the season earlier than planned, largely because of a lack of staff.

The destination lobster joint, overlooking the water, will open again in May for the 2023 season, according to a post Thursday on its Facebook page that said “unforeseen circumstances and staffing issues” left no option but to close this year. Last year, the seasonal restaurant was open into October.

“This decision was not made lightly and is not what we would choose to do but, there is no other option at this time,” the post said.

In response to one of many disappointed customers commenting on the news, Five Islands wrote, “Our staffing issues are different than a lot of what you hear. We have kids who return to college and high school. If we don’t get enough to start with, it makes the end of the season super challenging.”

Other Maine restaurants have said the seasonal labor shortage has strained their ability to operate.

The Five Islands post also referred to “unexpected tragedies” that factored into the owners’ decision, though it provided no details on those events, and the owners could not immediately be reached for an explanation Thursday afternoon.

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