RANGELEY – After five months of renovations to the old Scribner’s building at 2485 Main Street, John and Birgitta Parker opened the new Corner Side restaurant to an enthusiastic crowd on June 25. The building’s four new businesses have provided year round employment for 15 people.
At the Corner Side restaurant, Chef Virgil Brown, with 18 years of professional cooking to his credit, lets his talents shine with locally-sourced, seasonal, and organic ingredients at his fingertips. Dinner samplings range from duck breast, to lamb and surf ‘n’ turf as well as vegetarian plates all with some very interesting flavor combinations.
The breakfast chef, Lisa Klefos, puts her experience as a pastry chef to work making a variety of melt-in-your mouth goodies for breakfast including croissants that rival any from a Parisian bakery. But croissants aren’t just for breakfast anymore – you can sample them for lunch stuffed with lobster salad.
The Corner Side offers an excellent selection of wines available by the glass or bottle, including Maine-made and organic wines, as well as full bar service. Parker often features some fun specialty cocktails that serve up new taste sensations for the the spirit enthusiast. Sitting at the bar, a lovely expanse of richly varnished mahogany, one can take in the view across to Haley Pond or see who’s going by on Main Street.
Birgitta Parker may be new to the restaurant business but there were certain decisions for which she needed no guidance. As the owner of an interior decorating business she said, “I knew exactly what I wanted The Corner Side to look like and it has all come together just as I had imagined. I’m very happy with this space.”
The colors, fabrics, and fixtures are a graceful blend of old-fashioned and modern. The Haley Pond side has large view windows and light colors for a more open and breezy feeling while the Main Street side has darker colors, a copper ceiling, heavy, elegant drapes and booth seating.
Parker, also a “green crusader,” chooses food ingredients that are organic, sustainable, and grown or raised locally. She has made sure that any soap or chemical products used are all biodegradable and environmentally safe. Recycling is paramount and if anything does go into the dumpster, it’s in a cornstarch-based trash bag that is 100 percent biodegradable. Even the take-away containers are compostable cardboard.
As for “keeping it local,” the Parkers have included many local contractors, suppliers, and artists in this overall project. Featured at the Corner Side are several art pieces in a variety of media by local artist, Ashley Gray, also known for his roofing company Standing Seam Metal Roofing. He is also known for his bird carvings, one of which is a great blue heron relief carving between the windows on the Haley Pond side. More artwork, such as the classic black and white photographs of area camps and life on the lakes from yesteryear dot the remaining wall spaces.
Touted as the beginning of the Rangeley Renaissance, this rehabilitation project of the Parker’s has been a tremendous shot-in-the-arm for Rangeley’s Main Street.
The Corner Side is open for Sunday brunch, Monday open at 2 p.m. for bar and dinner, Tuesday through Saturday for breakfast, lunch and dinner, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. On the web at www.atthecornerside.com or call 207-864-2883.