CARIBOU, Maine — An enormous new leisure venue in Caribou is resurrecting a well-liked restaurant and bowling alley from the previous Loring Air Drive Base.
Evergreen Lanes and Rendezvous Restaurant opened final Tuesday at 60 Entry Freeway with 12 bowling lanes, a bar and restaurant and the biggest tv in Maine, developer Shawn Pelletier mentioned.
At 35,000 sq. ft, it’s Caribou’s largest restaurant and occasion area. It additionally resurrects 10-pin bowling in northern Maine, which disappeared in 1994 when Loring closed.
Pelletier labored with Hilda Quinones and her son, Justin Quinones, on the bowling alley. Hilda Quinones knew Pelletier had purchased the Entry Freeway constructing and reached out. A dialog with Wayne Langley, the latest proprietor of the unique Rendezvous Restaurant in Limestone, impressed Pelletier so as to add in a restaurant.
A Limestone native, Pelletier had fond recollections of the restaurant and Evergreen Lanes.
“My household wasn’t within the navy, however quite a lot of the navy children went to highschool in Limestone. Evergreen was the place we frolicked,” Pelletier mentioned. “The Rendezvous has been round for the reason that 50s and was all the time in style with the navy people. Individuals will inform you it has the perfect pizza they’ve ever had.”
Even after the bottom closed, individuals saved coming to the Rendezvous, Langley mentioned. He used the identical secret recipes handed down from the unique proprietor, Edmund Owen.
Final fall Langley offered the recipes to Pelletier, closed the Limestone restaurant and agreed to coach the brand new Rendezvous kitchen workers.
Pelletier owns residences and has additionally invested in Northern Maine Brewing Firm and Hilltop Heights Senior Dwelling in Caribou.
The Evergreen/Rendezvous challenge has been two years within the making. Provide chain points delayed the opening a number of occasions since July. Pelletier pushed again the opening to late October, then early December, and contractors completed in early January. Pelletier held a number of tender openings previous to the official Jan. 24 opening.
The preliminary projected price was $4.7 million, however elevated delivery and gear buy prices pushed up the ultimate price ticket, which Pelletier declined to specify.
Evergreen is the second of Pelletier’s investments, along with Hilltop Heights, to profit from Caribou’s Tax Increment Financing program.
Individuals shall be invited to observe sports activities occasions on the Rendezvous’ large 9-by-16-foot tv.
The enterprise additionally has a bowling professional store, arcade, non-public assembly and occasion area, and a 40-by-50-inch out of doors patio. The eating and sports activities bar space seats 250.
Hilda and Justin Quinones work within the professional store and help with the bowling alley.
The brand new Rendezvous actually has a bit of the previous: the refurbished 50s-era neon restaurant signal gleams above the entrance entrance.
Langley has spent 50 years within the restaurant enterprise and is glad to assist preserve the Rendezvous spirit alive, he mentioned. The menu gives most authentic objects, just like the regionally well-known pizza, meatball grinders, spaghetti, roast beef subs, burgers and appetizers.
“The Rendezvous was all the time a household place and we nonetheless need it to be a spot for households,” Langley mentioned. “It’s a sports activities bar, a bowling alley and an leisure venue. It’s the identical Rendezvous environment, however way more than I ever thought it might be.”
The spot has solely been open for per week, however already lots of have visited from the world and outdoors Aroostook, Pelletier mentioned.
Snowmobilers Jessica Libby, Tim York and Sara Farnham, all of Mapleton, stopped by the Rendezvous bar Friday. All three mentioned they may return with household and buddies.
“There’s an awesome environment right here,” Libby mentioned. “I believe this may convey lots of people to the world.”
That’s precisely what Langley and Pelletier need to see.
This fall, Evergreen Lanes will start providing neighborhood bowling leagues. As a member of america Bowling Congress, Evergreen will ultimately host state league championships, drawing in gamers and spectators from throughout the nation.
Drawing extra individuals to Caribou will change into all of the extra essential as town seems to be to be a extra sought-after place for out of doors recreation and leisure, Pelletier mentioned.
“We would like this to be a vacation spot, one thing distinctive for the world that may attract individuals, the identical approach that we’d go to Bangor or Portland to go to sure locations,” Pelletier mentioned.