The former home of Brunswick’s Little Dog Coffee Shop is getting new life.

The owner of the Maine Street shop shuttered the business over the summer in response to a strike by unionized workers over working conditions. It has been vacant ever since. A former California coffee shop owner planned to open a café there but abandoned the plan after receiving backlash from the community.

Connor Scott and Lainey Catalino are opening The Abbey in downtown Brunswick in early December. Courtesy photo

Connor Scott and Lainey Catalino, who live in the Brunswick area and have worked in the local hospitality industry for more than 20 years combined, are turning over new a page with The Abbey restaurant. They are leasing the space from building owner Tondreau LLC and have no affiliation with the former coffee shop.

The Abbey will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, with craft cocktails, and be open six days a week, from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. It’s scheduled to open in early December.

“Our goal is to raise the bar for hospitality in the Brunswick area,” Scott said.

Catalino said the restaurant is “built off the history of food and beverage being used as an expression of love.”


Planned menu items include coffee from Portland-based Bard Coffee; a breakfast sandwich with a baked egg, cheese, Calabrian chili aioli, serrano ham and membrillo (a type of sweet jelly); and a daily quiche with an arugula salad in the morning. For lunch and dinner, offerings will include ash reshteh (a thick Persian soup); oysters; mussels al forno; and noquerones, comprised of marinated zucchini, black pepper whipped feta and walnuts. For dessert, there’s crème brûlée and a brown butter chocolate chip cookie.

Scott and Catalino plan to hold community events like classes about making your own cocktails.

“The Abbey is a place for all things,” Scott said. “It’s a place where you can get your coffee in the morning, go to a lunch meeting at 1 p.m. and return for your anniversary dinner at night.

“It’s built on community and a place to come together.”

The pair met working at Sea Dog Brewing Company and during the pandemic frequently hosted dinner parties at their apartment, which they nicknamed “The Abbey.”

“We thought how cool it would be to bring that to the broader community and not just our friends and family,” Scott said.

They plan to hire a staff of 11–15 and are working with Bangor Savings Bank on financing.

Scott noted Brunswick’s growth in recent years.

“Brunswick is becoming more a destination and a place where people want to live and move,” he said. “The addition of The Abbey will help further that mission.”

The former Little Dog Coffee Shop space on Maine Street in Brunswick. Jason Claffey / The Times Record

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