Will they do for Bath what they did for Brunswick?
The owners of El Camino Cantina, known for locally sourced Mexican food served in a rustically hip setting, have purchased a building on Bath’s Front Street with plans to open a new restaurant — Salt Pine Social — this summer.
“I did this because I have cravings” said Eloise Humphrey, the chef who runs Brunswick’s happening hideaway as well as Flip Side Pizza on Maine Street, with her sister Daphne and brother-in-law Paul Comaskey.
Those cravings include bowls of cafe au lait, open-faced sandwiches and gently poached eggs on toast. At night, “a casual place to sip muscadet, eat oysters and just watch the sun set,” is the plan for El Camino’s Northern cousin. “Ideas will come and go,” said Humphrey.
Like any good social, Salt Pine, will be convivial and never stale. Breakfast, lunch, dinner? You bet.
“It will be fun. People are really going nuts. Ever since we signed on New Year’s Eve it’s been non-stop,” said Humphrey, who lives in Bath and had been searching for a space to fill the culinary holes in Ship City and along the midcoast gateway corridor.
The 3,000-square-foot building that includes a antique house and attached garage is steps from Waterfront Park with views of the Kennebec River. Outdoor dining and a deck is planned.
Like El Camino, Salt Pine Social will showcase locally grown and raised food. Bread will arrive from Portland’s Standard Baking Co., and savories such as egg salad topped with white sardines inspired by Alice Water’s now-shuttered Cafe Fanny in Berkley, CA., will temp crowds mid-day.
“These are things that I miss and want,” said Humphrey, who cooked in restaurants in San Francisco and New York before moving to Maine 15 years ago. “Lunch will be nice baguette sandwiches wrapped in paper. We will have a chalkboard menu of seasonal dishes featuring what’s current.”
As the name suggests, seafood (raw bar alert) will be prominent and a wood-burning oven will fill this spot with wonderful warmth.
As for the social, wine on tap will be all the buzz in Bath this summer. “We have a crazy good wine list at El Camino,” said Humphrey. “We love wine and want to keep it alive and fresh. It changes with the season. That’s what we do.”
Salt Pine Social, 244 Front St., is slated to open in July.