Aerosmith drummer’s Sunday River cafe will not reopen this season

Rockin' & Roastin' - At the Mountain (c. Allevato Architects) (1)

An image of the short-lived Rockin’ and Roastin’ Cafe and Restaurant. Courtesy of Allevato Architects.

The ending came fast, like a punchy, three-minute rock song. The drummer for ’70s supergroup Aerosmith, Joey Kramer, opened his first cafe at Sunday River last year with great fanfare. But Newry, Maine was not ready for the bad boy from Boston, it turns out.

According to Kramer’s business partner Ronn Mann, Joey Kramer’s Rockin’ and Roastin’ Cafe and Restaurant closed for the season in April and “we made the decision not to re-open for the next season.”

With floor-to-ceiling windows and a sexy new facade, the remake of popular apres ski joint The Phoenix House and Well, must have cost a pretty penny. Kramer’s business partner Les Otten, former vice chairman of the Boston Red Sox, could not be reached for comment. Was the message of this cafe/bar/music club/restaurant too muddled?


Kramer. Photo courtesy of Joey Kramer.

Their aspiration to recreate a Hard Rock Cafe for the ski set never took off.

“We made the strategic decision to keep our focus and growth on our core mission, which is providing 100 percent USDA certified organic coffees to our customers at a competitive price,” said Mann, who is pushing for online and in-store coffee sales of Kramer’s Rockin’ and Roastin’ Coffee. “We are also focusing on more traditional coffee cafes and kiosks versus full service restaurants for future growth of our brand and products.” Craving a cup? Its flagship cafe just opened in North Attleboro, MA.

Back at Sunday River, the venue is transforming into a new hybrid called The Mountain Phoenix. The sports pub/ fine dining establishment opens in mid-December, said Dean Weeks, general manger. We wish them luck.

Rock on!

Kathleen Pierce

About Kathleen Pierce

A lifelong journalist with a deep curiosity for what's next. Interested in food, culture, trends and the thrill of a good scoop. BDN features reporter based in Portland since 2013.