Joe Lane, the lobster guy

Sun, 07/19/2015 - 7:45am

Story Location:
93 Elm Street
Damariscotta, ME 04543
United States

    Joe Lane is a multi-generation lobsterman. He said his lobstering ancestors probably date back to when fishermen started fishing for lobsters.

    Lane said his father’s family came from England on the Angel Gabriel, a 240-ton passenger galleon that sank in a storm off Pemaquid Point in 1635.

    “One side of my family is from Damariscotta and one side is from Bristol,” he said. “I saw a postcard with a picture of my grandfather when he was 13, with his dad, at the same co-op in Pemaquid that I fish out of.”

    Lane, who is from Bristol, does what one might expect from a lobsterman in his spare time: He runs a lobster roll stand.

    Lane gets the lobsters for his Damariscotta business by catching them himself. He usually goes out hauling in the morning and runs the stand when he gets back on dry land.

    He has been lobstering since he was in the sixth grade, when he hauled his traps by hand, as opposed to the hydraulic haulers most commercial fishermen are using now.

    This summer, he’s lamenting that he hasn’t been able to put as much time out on the ocean as he’d like, because he’s in the throes of opening a restaurant, along with his lobster roll stand.

    “With all I have going now I haven't been able to go out hauling as much as I'd like to. Last year I was heading out at 3 a.m. and getting back by 2 p.m. to make sure we had enough lobsters to get through the day.”

    Lane has been running his lobster stand for a little over a year, selling fresh live and cooked lobsters, and lobster rolls, lobster tacos, lobster BLTs, lobster grilled cheese sandwiches and lobster Newburg (on Sundays). He also offers a “lobster cone.”

    Jim Morris, from San Fransisco, comes to visit his in-laws each summer. He was at the stand getting an order of “lobster in a cone,” on July 15. It is simply lobster meat served in a paper cone, sans roll.

    Now Lane said he is in the process of moving in to a “sit-down dining place.”

    He's hoping to be in the former Paco's Tacos location in downtown Damariscotta within a couple weeks.

    “I have the plumbing people coming tomorrow, and then I just have to get it inspected. It's up to one woman, who does all the local inspections. It will all depend on her schedule.”

    Lane is planning to get a beer and wine license, which he said will require a board meeting and then a public hearing.

    The restaurant will serve all the lobster items that are available at the stand, plus baked stuffed lobster, lobster mac ’n‘ cheese, lobster pasta dishes, and the traditional twin lobster dinner with corn on the cob. Lane said he's also thinking about coming up with some Mexican lobster dishes to stay with the Mexican theme that Paco's Tacos provided for many years.

    Lane, who plays piano, said he'll be featuring live music in the restaurant, too.

    He’ll be running the restaurant with help from his girlfriend, Brittany Barton.

    The lobster stand, called Joe Lane Lobsterman, will remain at its present location at 93 Elm Street, near the back entrance to Skidompha Public Library, after the restaurant opens in the former Paco's Tacos location.

    “I'll keep them both running, because I live right here (in the house whose land the stand sits on).”

    Call 207-563-LOBS (5627) or 207-208-9418 to order fresh or cooked lobsters, lobster rolls or other lobster sandwiches, or a “cone.”