Cubbyhole Sports Pub coming to Wiscasset
The Wiscasset General Store is being reborn. It will soon be a sports pub.
Owners Carla Chapman and Lettie Mott hope to open their new Cubbyhole Sports Pub by mid-March, at the same location as the store.
Chapman said the two have been talking about the changeover for a couple years, and were thrilled when Wiscasset selectmen gave them a resounding yes last week.
The new pub will feature several large screen TVs for sports enthusiasts to watch games and other events. The walls will be adorned with antique sports memorabilia. A bar is being built by local contractor Ed Goud and his son Duane, across the width of the store, at the back end, and another smaller one to one side.
A local teacher and bartender, Warren Cossette, will man the bar. Chapman and Mott will continue to cook, and to serve customers.
Chapman will be taking a two-day course in bartending to lend a hand to Cossette behind the bar, though she admitted to having more experience on the side with the stools.
If you’re not a fan of sports events on television, and you’re afraid the Cubbyhole won’t be fun regardless, know this: Carla Chapman is a self-described ex-barfly. “The inside of a bar is foreign to me,” she said. “But on the other side I had it down to a science.”
Chapman, a horse lover who sold a Cape Cod horse farm before moving to Wiscasset in 2008, used to ride a horse many mistook for a zebra, to bars – including her favorite watering hole in her hometown of Chatham. “One Friday I decided to ride my horse to the bar. I started leading him into the bar, then a friend told me to tie him up outside – to the hood ornament of a Rolls Royce, so I did. I think the car was fine – I never got a call about it.”
“Everyone really thought he was a zebra. I was head teller at a bank, and a woman came in one day and started complaining about someone keeping a zebra in captivity. I told her to call the large animal inspector.” Then Chapman went home and waited for the phone to ring. It did, and it was the woman. “I was the large animal inspector,” Chapman said with a hearty laugh.
The interior of the store is being renovated to make it more pub-like, with new furniture, including counter height tables and new leather and wrought iron bar stools.
She laughed when she talked about the new “real, matching, glass” dishes and flatware for the pub, indicating the paper plates and plastic containers that are now the norm at the store. The pub will still carry the take-out meals – including a daily special – that have become one of the store’s most popular draws. Pizza, another favorite, will stay on the menu, along with new pub-friendly items like nachos, potato skins and chicken wings.
When all is said and done there will be seating for 39, including the two bar areas.
Chapman said people are skeptical she can pull off the opening in a couple weeks, but she was confident. “Hey, Rome wasn’t built in a day because I wasn’t there. I’m the contractor. I get on a mission, and it will get done.
“I’m not worried. I always find a way to make it work. Sometimes Lettie won’t talk to me, but we get through it.”
Chapman said she’s always “game for anything,” and she and Mott are open to suggestions for special nights. Chapman is looking forward to the horse derbies, when the pub will feature mint juleps. And she said there will definitely be a Halloween party. “You can’t come in unless you have a costume on.
“This place is going to be unique. I’ve never done anything by the book.”
Days and times of operation haven’t been set in stone yet, but there will be a happy hour from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. every day the pub is open.
Chapman called her store a friendly little neighborhood one, where everyone knows one another. Now she’s hoping her customers, old and new, will feel the same about the sports pub. The location, at 213 West Alna Road, is just a few minutes from both Route 1 and Route 27.
The bottle redemption center at the same location will remain open through this coming summer, with Mott’s daughter, Sam Titus, managing it.
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