Boothbay Harbor’s newest food business, Marcel’s Submarine Shop, is open after closing over a month ago due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The shop opened March 12 and closed March 17.
Owner Michael Marcel Morissette said closing was not an easy decision, but it was necessary for the safety of his staff and the community. And, at that time, he was also dealing with a product shortage, and the purveyor skipped the order that would have replenished the shop, Morissette said.
“I said, 'It's basically empty right now,’ so anything I didn't use I just took home to the family and we've been through it by now anyway,” said Morissette.
As businesses are adapting to social distancing, the shop is using “contactless curbside,” Morissette said. “That's in an attempt to keep germs out of my building, keep my staff safe and everyone else safe. We're going to try to get everyone to pay over the phone with their credit card (and) tell me the time they'll be here. I'll have a table outside and the orders in brown paper bags, stapled shut, name on it. You drive up, get it and go.”
The shop is offering only one type of bread for the subs and baguettes on the menu. “Right now it's sort of hard to get European imports for things of this nature. So, I've gone down to one type of bread, but … it's the same size menu, just rearranged a little bit to make it more manageable.”
The biggest question so far – besides “are you opening back up?” – was how he would handle orders for alcoholic beverages, said Morissette. “You have to ID people and I'm really trying to keep it to where people can sort of drive up and go, but if someone requests beer or wine … I'll figure it out one way or another. The alcohol is going to be the trickiest part for sure.”
Morissette was happy to be re-opening the shop. He said he was thankful closing so suddenly and for so long has not been as devastating as it could have been.
“I knew I’d open back up once I have all my ducks in a row … It definitely could have been worse. It's not like I had a full restaurant of food that I had to deal with or a ton of staff. My business is sort of suited toward to-go to begin with, so ... compared to the boat some people are in, I feel kinda lucky.”
To order take-out, call 207-315-6006.