New Business

Say goodbye to Knot Gray’s, hello to Herringbone’s

Posted:  Thursday, March 20, 2014 - 5:00pm

Another new business is coming to town.

Jon and Deb Hodgdon have bought the assets from Knot Gray's Wharf and will be opening a restaurant in that location, on the wharf, sometime before Memorial Day weekend.

They will be renting the space, which is owned by the Blake brothers of Boothbay, Joe, Gary and Neil.

Clint Erwin, owner of the Dockside Grill in Boothbay Harbor, will be the manager of the new restaurant, which will be called Herringbone’s Pub & Grill. Erwin will continue running his own restaurant as well. Hodgdon said hiring him was a no-brainer. “He's a professional. That's why we hired him.”

Hodgdon said he's had people coming out of the woodwork offering up suggestions for what kind of food they should serve. “I didn't realize there's this sub-culture around restaurants, just like there is in fishing circles. Everybody knows somebody who I should hire.”

He said they will be open for lunch and dinner, and wants to offer meals that people might cook at home. “We're going to keep it simple,” he said. “Every night we'll offer a different Maine special, things like meatloaf, pot roast and boiled dinner.”

As manager, Erwin will be in charge of hiring staff. Deb Hodgdon said they'd like to hire locals, and is looking forward to area people applying for positions. Erwin has already hired two experienced bartenders from Sunday River, and Hodgdon said that he expects to have 20 employees by the Fourth of July.

When he's not minding his new business, Hodgdon will be minding his old one — hauling his lobster traps. “Fishing is in my blood. I'll be in and out of the restaurant; I'm still going to haul a few traps.”

And Hodgdon just got his 100-ton captain's license, which will allow him to do something else, along with fishing and running a restaurant.

He plans to offer lobster fishing trips on his boat, the Deb O'Naire. Hodgdon said he'll take patrons back to the dock outside the restaurant, and may allow them to bring some of the catch into the restaurant to be boiled for their own personal lobster dinner.

Deb Hodgdon is a mail carrier in the town of Boothbay, and she plans to continue with that as well.

Neither Hodgdon has had any extensive restaurant experience, but Deb Hodgdon said she has worked at a couple restaurants in the area, including Lawnmeer and Rocktide, and Hodgdon had a short stint in the galley of a Navy ship. They said this new endeavor is a “leap of faith.”

One of the former owners of Knot Gray's Wharf, Pat Carmolli, will be bookkeeper for the new restaurant. She is also the owner of Downeast Candies, and will continue running her shop and making outrageous fudge and taffy.

One of Carmolli's partners in Knot Gray's, Korey Lewis, will be around to offer advice to the Hodgdons, and said he's looking forward to having a beer on the “other side of the bar.” He is pleased with the outcome of the sale of Gray's. “I'm happy that a local couple took over,” he said.

Cody Barry, a nephew of the Hodgdons who will be graduating from Pratt Institute shortly, is designing a sign for Herringbone's.