KENNEBUNK, Maine — It was 101 decades back the SS Wandby crashed on the rocks off the coastline of the Kennebunks, its stranded crew to be showered with housing, foodstuff, and entertainment by locals.
“It was form of like the commencing of hospitality here in Kennebunk,” said Matt Dyer, who with his wife, Mariah, opened Wandby Landing Restaurant this month.
The few are the most recent stewards of the 19th-century farmhouse at 46 Western Ave. that for the past 30 several years has served as a restaurant, most recently On the Marsh Bistro.
The Dyers hope Wandby Landing can are living up to the tale guiding its title with fantastic wines, cocktails and an Italian menu developed around handmade pasta.
“That’s a thing we aspire to,” explained Matt, 40, who with Mariah, 38, life in Kennebunkport.
The few have labored for the very last 18 months to update the farmhouse that was built about 1850. Matt stated they are increasing the restaurant’s bar from eight seats to 22, preserving its gardens and incorporating a pizza oven that will soon be up and operating.
“We desired to spend homage to what was below, but also produce a room that was snug for us,” Matt stated.
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Mariah, who also operates her have flower and garden company Wild Aster Farm, is setting up on the gardens about the farmhouse that overlooks the close by marsh. The pair options to use their two-ground, 144-seat restaurant for weddings and functions as effectively.
“It’s a lovely room, beautiful gardens. We absolutely want to consider gain of that,” Mariah reported. “It’s truly near to downtown, but also feels like you are a entire world absent for a little bit.”
The Dyers have been jointly for about 15 decades and have worked in other local restaurants like Earth at Concealed Pond in Kennebunkport. Wandby Landing is their first try as sole proprietors.
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A name with meaning
The Dyers realized about the SS Wandby when researching the record of the Kennebunks as they regarded as a identify for their new cafe. Mariah went to the neighborhood historic culture and observed an account of the ship’s crash and the town’s reception of the crew. She also identified letters composed 30 to 40 several years immediately after the crash from the crew thanking community households like the nicely-recognized Eldridge household for the hospitality until eventually they could uncover a way house.
Bringing their vision to daily life took extra time than they anticipated with the coronavirus pandemic slowing design and driving up fees. The few purchased the farmhouse in December 2020, and they explained the pandemic established them again about 10 months in their energy to open.
To get by all through those more months, the Dyers took what Matt identified as “mercenary work” with their friends’ catering and hospitality businesses. Mariah also grew her back garden enterprise, which features winter tulips she reported introduced buyers joy in the pandemic’s cold months.
“I bought a great deal of feedback, ‘Oh my god, your tulips are seriously acquiring me as a result of some dim periods,” Mariah explained.
A ‘staple in the community’
This summertime, the Dyers continue to experienced a ton of get the job done they required to comprehensive but established an ambitious timeline to open July 1. Matt explained there was nonetheless a great deal to complete with two days still left prior to opening.
“It was a race to the complete line, as these assignments usually are,” Matt mentioned. The reception in the very last month has been encouraging, he said. Company have returned about the course of the month, and Wandby Landing’s presently has some weddings booked.
Wandby Landing’s chef, Michael Bergin, has worked in places to eat alongside the East Coastline, like in New York where he worked beneath acclaimed chef Missy Robbins. He reported he had a qualifications in French cooking but comes from an Italian family. He mentioned doing work in Italian kitchens in New York edged him back again toward his Italian roots and refining his handmade pasta craft.
“People have been again three or four moments for the similar dish,” Matt said, “Which speaks volumes to the good quality that he (Bergin) is manufacturing.”
Bergin and the Dyers all say they know Kennebunk is a family vacation town whose peak year is between July and August. They say the eyesight for Wandby Landing is to do much more than provide the vacationers, and they hope to turn into embedded in the community for locals to go to a number of moments a 7 days or month 12 months-round.
“I imagine we’re not wanting at ourselves as a tourist location,” Matt explained, “But hope to be kind of a staple in the local community.”