In some communities, the arrival of spring is heralded by the appearance of certain plant and animal species. Spring peepers. Budding trees. Crocuses. Daffodils. Caterpillars. Nesting birds.
Here in the Perkins Cove area of Ogunquit, Maine – the opening of Barnacle Billy’s is what tells us – definitively – that spring has sprung.
Such was the case on Friday, April 3rd 2015 when this landmark lobster restaurant opened it’s doors for their 54th consecutive season – and the crowds of crustacean eaters made their pilgrimage to Perkins Cove to witness and participate in this annual Ogunquit rite of spring.
My wife and I could feel the excitement and additional activity around the cove area from the time we left the romantic Hartwell House Inn and began our walk to the restaurant.
Upon arrival, throngs of people – locals and tourists, alike – were lined up at the Barnacle Billy’s counter, placing their orders amidst a fun and frenzied backdrop of lobsters being plucked from tanks and salty clouds of steam wafting through the open kitchen area.
In the dining room – and on the rear porch overlooking the working lobster harbor – not an empty table was to be found, as jovial conversations and a hint of fireplace wood smoke filled the air.
Busboys whirred through the dining areas with a sense of urgency – and servers worked the floor balancing trays full of Barnacle Billy’s Special (and colorful) Rum Punch.
Across the cove from the restaurant, receding snow was still visible on the shoreline – but this is Maine, spring is finally here, and it felt excellent to be back in this familiar restaurant, surrounded by happy faces and celebrating with the comfort foods of coastal New England.
Here are a few images from the 2015 opening night at Barnacle Billy’s – click any image for a larger view:
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