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New restaurant, Blue Sky on York Beach, now open

The dining room of Blue Sky at York Beach.
Don Clark/[email protected]

By Rob Levey
[email protected]

Scheduled to open by the end of this week, Blue Sky on York Beach will be the area's newest year-round restaurant.

The establishment is a joint venture between nationally renowned restaurateur and chef Lydia Shire and developer Don Rivers with his wife, Mary.

For Shire, although she has opened numerous restaurants before in the Boston area, including Locke Ober and the soon-to-be-opened Scampo at the Liberty Hotel, opening a restaurant in York Beach is a special thrill.

"I've always loved Maine and have been coming here since I was a little girl," she said, adding that she only recently discovered the beauty of the York area. "I was more familiar with Ogunquit, but when I met Don almost three years ago I fell in love with York Beach and Short Sands Beach."

Located on the second floor of The Atlantic House, the restaurant and bar area features a see-through fireplace that spans the lounge to the dining room and can seat 160 and an additional 55 on the outdoor porch with an ocean view.

"We have big heaters out there, too, so we can really stretch the summer season," Shire said.

As far as the ambience of the restaurant, Shire describes it as "warm and beautiful" with chocolate brown walls, artwork, a wood ceiling, and cream white and off-white furniture.

"It's an extension of my home," said Shire, who said the restaurant has no dress code and caters to people who are looking for a place to relax.

"It's very colorful and friendly. It's a place to use and enjoy."

Blue Sky on York Beach chefs, from left, Jason Hay, Lydia Shire,
Simon Restrapo and Susan Regis, work on recipes in the new
restaurant's kitchen.   Don Clark/[email protected]

As far as the food, Shire said she has written a menu that has meaning for the area and includes lobsters, steamers, various steaks, and roasted chicken and pizza from a wood burning stove. Entrees average in the $20 range.

Shire said she has also brought the best people with her from Boston with top management personnel and a strong core of chefs already in place.

"We'll also have a bar food menu with inexpensive items," Shire said. "I love sports, so I hope people can come in during the cold times and watch the Celtics and Bruins next to the fireplace and relax. It's a place to come in, sink into the chair, and have some fun."

Shire also plans on opening a bakery, Clara's Cupcake Café, on the first floor of the Atlantic House in the next month, which will specialize in cakes and also offer breads, sandwiches and soups.

A ribbon cutting ceremony is scheduled for the Atlantic House this Friday at noon. People also are invited to stop by and see the restaurant at that time.

For information, call 363-0050.

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