‘The Porch’ at Tannery Pub to offer three-season dining

By Gail Geraghty

Staff Writer

The kitchen is doubling in size, and the summer porch is being enclosed with sliding glass windows and screens at the Magic Lantern Theater’s restaurant, The Tannery Pub.

People loved sitting outside on the porch this summer and being part of the life of a busy Main Street, said Magic Lantern Theater owner Frank Howell. It was the first time the porch was used in any substantial way since the theater was renovated in 2008 — and it was a hit.

“People really enjoy sitting out there, enjoying the hubbub of Main Street,” said Howell.

But summer is short-lived, and not all its days are sunny enough for porch dining. Howell decided it was time to give The Tannery Pub its due as a business in its own right, and make some improvements.

The renovations being done this month by Norway contractor, Tim Durgin and his son, Tim Jr., will enclose the porch with sliding glass windows and screens and provide a new Main Street entrance to the pub, complete with a roof extension similar to the one added last year at the movie theater’s side entrance. That way, customers can walk directly into the pub from Main Street without having to walk through the theater’s lobby.

“Now it will be a lot more comfortable on cool or rainy days, and they can have the best of both worlds,” said Howell. Since the porch will remain a porch, but just be enclosed, movies or special events can still take place inside the pub without disturbing customers on the porch, he said.

Providing a Main Street entrance to the pub was important to Howell. “We want people to understand that they don’t have to go to the movies to enjoy the pub and what it offers,” he said. Then too, it gives the entire building a new feel of facing Main Street, in keeping with downtown revitalization goals. After walking in from Main Street to have dinner at the pub, customers can, if they wish, continue into the theater lobby to go to the movies.

The right side of the porch is also being enclosed in order to double the size of the kitchen. Howell said this would enable the pub to expand its menu offerings. “We’ll be able to offer much more,” he said. The pub offers both lunch and dinner in the summer, and dinner the rest of the year.

The entire project, which received Bridgton Planning Board approval in September, is expected to be completed within a month. “The town has been very helpful,” in encouraging the improvements, said Howell.

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