“We met on Craig’s List. I just wanted to get some kind of job in the restaurant business. Luke was looking for a partner,” said Ben Conniff, co-founder, Luke’s Lobsters, today at an after party following a clean-up of Back Cove. The after-party was held at the end of Portland Pier where over sixty (60) volunteers were enjoying a picnic of lobster rolls and Allagash beer – in front of the soon to be flag ship restaurant for the international chain.
Ben was referring to his business partner, Luke Holden, a Maine native and their partnership that has so far produced twenty-seven restaurants around the country and ten in Japan and Taiwan – where they have a licensing partner. It’s expected that this mega-restaurant will open in June with a full bar and menu that includes clams, crabmeat and other seafood as well as lobster right off the boat. Lobster boats will be able to pull up to the dock in front of Luke’s and unload their precious cargo – without going through a middleman in Portland.
When the better weather arrives, there will be seating for 170 diners – with 140 of them inside the Restaurant and the rest outside on the dock. That is outside on the dock with 360 degree views of the Portland waterfront, the lobster industry and all the other activity that goes on in a busy, deepwater harbor like ours.
The two seem to be pretty well staffed already. But some back of house cooks are still needed as well as dishwashers. Training will occur the end of May expecting a June opening. If you are interested in learning more, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The two business partners compliment each other. Luke, a finance graduate of Georgetown University, understands the numbers, the mechanics and the lobster industry. On the other hand, Ben, a graduate of Yale University, where history was his major, is inclined toward the culinary and marketing aspects of the enterprise. The two young men, are committed to reducing the carbon footprint. That was part of the reason for the clean-up campaign sponsored in this collaboration of three entities at Back Cove this morning. By next year, Luke’s Lobster on the Portland Pier expects to have solar panels in its rooftop.
Speaking of collaborations, there will be another one coming along in September. That’s when Ben Conniff and Liz Wilson, Marketing Manager for Allagash Brewing Company, will marry. Congratulations on all counts!
Please see previous post herein on clean-up of Back Cove and after-party dated May 8, 2019, hosted by Luke’s Lobster, Allagash Brewing and Friends of Casco Bay.