Originally published in The Weekly Packet, July 25, 2019
Oakland House brought back to life by new owners
Rick Littlefield and his wife Robin are the most recent family members to own and operate the property at the Oakland House.
by Monique Labbe
For the first time in over a decade, visitors to Oakland House Seaside Inn and Cottages will not only have the opportunity to dine in a newly renovated dining room, but also to stay in one of the four new rooms upstairs.
Owners Rick and Robin Littlefield, who took over the property last year while continuing to run Robin Hood Camps, said they were both very adamant that renovating the long-ignored original Oakland House was a top priority.
“There was a rumor that the building would be torn down,” said Rick Littlefield, who is part of the Littlefield family who homesteaded the property centuries ago. “It has been in my family for so long, I thought that would be a crime.”
The dining room underwent small renovations last year, and the couple was able to offer country breakfasts to guests. In the off season, they dedicated themselves to getting the building fully functioning for the 2019 season. They have succeeded, and guests and those just looking for a dinner spot can now dine on everything from fresh Maine lobster to steamed clams and seared duck breast, all while enjoying a good bottle of wine.
“It just feels like we’ve come alive,” said Robin Littlefield. “It’s nice for our guests to be able to have a place to get dinner again. Before, people would come in later at night and we wouldn’t really have anywhere to send them.”
A fresh coat of white paint makes the dining room feel open, with giant windows on two walls overlooking the property, including the popular Acorn House, a communal space comparative to a European hostel. The gardens, a soft spot in the heart of Robin Littlefield, are also in view from the dining room. Simple centerpieces of fresh flowers add color to every table, giving the entire room an upscale dining feel.
“That wasn’t our intention at first,” said Rick Littlefield. “We weren’t going to go so upscale, but then we were lucky enough to find chefs who could do that, and wanted to do that. I think people are really enjoying it.”
“The Oakland House really told us which direction to go, in here and with the rooms upstairs,” added Robin Littlefield. “It just feels so right. We’re so lucky.”
The couple said that the community has been “overwhelmingly supportive,” from the town officials to people who have told them they are happy to have a restaurant on that property again.
“We’ve had people who used to come here years ago, come back and dine with us. We even have a group of former Oakland House waitresses coming for dinner this week. That’s been so great to see,” she said.
The next big renovation project planned is to renovate the third floor of the building, which will add on more rooms, according to the couple.
The restaurant is open for breakfast and dinner Tuesday-Sundays, with brunch from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on Sundays. Reservations can be made by phone at 359-8521.