104 Main Public House in Topsham opened in 2020 during the pandemic and has become a welcome option to the many chain restaurants in nearby Topsham Fair Mall. Photo by Eric Russell

TOPSHAM — Can you enjoy pub food without sitting inside a pub or pairing it with draft beer?

That’s the question I attempted to answer when visiting 104 Main Public House in Topsham for lunch last week.

I won’t keep you waiting. The answer is yes, you can.

The menu is filled with classic pub dishes – burgers and other sandwiches, fish and chips, wings, hand-stretched pizza – and they make it easy to order takeout.

The restaurant’s interior, which features a handsome wooden U-shaped bar and several high-top tables, was inviting as well, if a bit sparse. The beer list was great, too, but since this was lunch on a workday, I made a note to return.

I called to order the pub burger ($16), which was topped with cheddar cheese, house barbecue sauce, onion rings and pickles and served on a soft brioche-style bun with french fries on the side.


The employee informed me I could pick it up in 15 minutes and, sure enough, when I arrived 15 minutes later, it was ready. I live about 10 minutes from 104 Main, back across the bridge in Brunswick, so the real question was whether the entrée would stay hot until I arrived back home.

It did.

The pub burger at 104 Main Public House in Topsham comes topped with cheddar, fried onion rings, house-made barbecue sauce and pickles and is served on a brioche bun with French fries. Photo by Eric Russell

The burger was cooked well (my preference) but still juicy. The onion rings were crisp. The bun was slightly warm. Even the fries hadn’t turned soggy. They were crisp and well seasoned. Everything felt fresh.

I think I might try a pizza next time. When I was picking up my burger, I saw someone at the bar with a pie in front of him that looked delicious. There are nine varieties, ranging from spicy Hawaiian (pineapple, ham, pickled jalapeños, red onion, mozzarella cheese, & red sauce, $15) to chicken florentine (spinach, onions, peppers, mushrooms, artichokes, mozzarella cheese, & garlic white sauce, $16).

Owner Matthew Kenney opened the restaurant – near the intersection of Main Street and Route 196 and near the town’s municipal building – in 2020 during the pandemic. Other restaurants had occupied the space, including a Chinese restaurant for many years.

It’s been a welcome addition to the mostly chain-style restaurants located in the nearby Topsham Fair Mall.

The restaurant seems to be busy most days (I drive by often). It hosts trivia nights and has live music on the weekends. The dinner menu features a handful of entrees and daily specials – New York strip steak, shrimp scampi, chipotle chicken couscous, to name a few – that are slightly more elevated than the lunch fare. It’s more comfort food than high-end cuisine, but sometimes that’s what the mood calls for.

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