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by Rich Hewitt
An old favorite takeout spot is getting a new lease on life thanks to a one-time neighbor.
Jill Smith, who operates the Millbrook Company, plans to move her bakery to the former Country View takeout on Route 15 and to open a year-round restaurant there.
Smith is familiar with the spot having grown up just two houses away from the Country View. She knew Milton and Nellie Smith, the former owners, and their granddaughter, and she remembers the sights and sounds of the takeout.
“It was a part of my childhood,” she said, “going there for ice cream and hearing the numbers called out as I fell asleep.”
Smith said she has been looking for a new location for the bakery. When the building came up for sale recently, her father, Victor Smith, purchased it and she began planning for the new venture.
The sit-down restaurant will focus on breakfast and lunch, but also will offer a lobster pound-style dinner option, Smith said.
The breakfast and lunch menu will offer items featuring fresh bread from the bakery along with other breakfast goodies.
“We’re known for our sticky buns,” she said.
But, Smith also wants to highlight other, healthy options such as fresh juice and smoothies, items that are not always a ready option on the Peninsula.
The lobster pound was a natural fit since Smith has strong ties to the local fishing community.
“My dad’s a fisherman and I have friends from high school who still fish,” she said. “It seems ironic that we pay $18 or $20 for a lobster dinner here on the peninsula while the fishermen are struggling to keep their boats in the water. If I can help with that situation, that’s my goal.”
Smith said she hopes to keep some of the same atmosphere of the old takeout spot while at the same time creating a new, eat-in spot. She won’t however, maintain the Country View tradition of keeping a variety of rabbits, ducks and geese in pens on the property.
“No animals,” she said.
The building was built in the 1960s and was expanded three times. It’s been vacant for six years and, Smith said, it needs a lot of work.
“I don’t want to change it a whole lot, I won’t change the look of it,” she said.
The interior already has been gutted and will be renovated to accommodate the new format, which will provide seating for 15-20 people. Smith said she plans to keep the covered porch outdoor eating area as well.
She admits that it is a challenge to open a new restaurant at any time, especially given the ongoing economic woes. But, she said, the location on Route 15 with plenty of traffic will be a good spot. There are other businesses, galleries and artists in the area which will work together to attract local customers and visitors from away.
“Hopefully, we can bring back some life to this area,” she said. “I want to create a cozy spot where people can go and have a good, low-key place to eat.”