Opening night on Water Street

Sat, 06/29/2019 - 1:30pm

About this blog:

  • Frank Barnako is a seasonal resident of Wiscasset at Clarks Point on the Sheepscot River.   His career in journalism included on air and news director positions with CBS and NBC Radio and TV stations.  He was a pioneer in the Internet, helping to create and co-found where he also developed a 200-station radio network and wrote daily columns focused on the stock market, business news, and technology. Barnako describes himself as “an aspiring photographer,” whose work can be seen at<>. He is a member of the town’s Investment Advisory Committee. Email him at

We were one of the lucky ones to have dinner at the Water Street Kitchen and Bar’s opening night last Thursday.  How the young man at the podium slipped us in was surprising, but also perhaps a sign of the restaurant’s eagerness to please. And we were not alone. The gorgeous new bar was full - and busy.

Within less than five minutes, we were seated and looking out on the old Sheepscot River.  The view now is the same as it was for years at Le Garage.  But what changed is that there is life and color and art in the big rooms.

And there is art on the menu, albeit a work in progress.  There appear to be twice the number of craft beers and cocktails and wines as there are entrees. That’s understandable for a start up.  It’s never a good thing when the restaurant menu is eight pages long.  

The Water Street folks are taking it step by step.  A limited menu featured fine choices for our group of four: Gambas with garlic, Bean Soup, Bucatini pasta, charred cauliflower, and roasted brussels sprouts.  There’s even a good hamburger on the menu.

For opening night, Water Street seemed to be running smoothly.  I heard no raised voice nor diners’ cries of “Where’s my dinner?” The servers were plentiful, pleasant, attentive and efficient.

At this writing, there are no reviews of Water Street Kitchen and Grill on  Google has one.  It’s too soon.  

Just getting the doors open, finding staff, and executing a teriffic, contemporary design and concept deserves lots of praise. I’ll check back in a few weeks.  

On our way out, at about 8:30 p.m., the bar was still hopping.  In fact, closing time is posted as 11 p.m. That’s new for Wiscasset. It’s good to see new in Wiscasset.