Lion’s Den Tavern opens on Main Street

This article was updated for accuracy on Sept. 28, 2019. 

The Lion’s Den Tavern, which began serving customers on Aug. 15 and held its grand opening on Friday, Sept. 27,   offers a bar-like atmosphere with classic American fare and a wide selection of drinks. Located at 74 Main Street in the space where Itali-ah used to operate, the new restaurant has already become a favorite amongst Colby students and Waterville residents alike.

In Dec. 2018,  the official Itali-ah Restaurant and Market Facebook page posted a statement informing its patrons of its unfortunate future.

“It is with profound sorrow that we regret to announce the permanent closing of the restaurant and market, at least as we have all known it in its current iteration,” the post stated.

Indeed, by Jul. 2019, both the Itali-ah and Lion’s Den Facebook pages were posting about the new restaurant. A recent article in the Morning Sentinel confirmed that Jennifer Bergeron, the owner of Itali-ah, was also attached to The Lion’s Den; however, the restaurant is under completely new management, now owned and run by local entrepreneur Erica Pelotte, with Bergeron acting as a silent partner.

Despite its recent beginnings, the Lion’s Den was absolutely packed when I arrived on Saturday night. Even so, I heard one waitress remark that this was generally ‘slow’ for an evening shift. The interior had a few remnants of Itali-ah, but otherwise traded the upscale Italian look for a pub-like, edgy feel. The drinks were fun and playful, and satisfied the wants of my similarly of–age friends and I.

The service was quick and efficient, without being too rushed. My companions and I enjoyed a baked spinach-artichoke dip while we waited for our main dishes. I ordered a stuffed portobello mushroom with steamed spinach, while my friends ordered burgers and sandwiches. Beyond those options, the Lion’s Den offers a large selection of pastas, chicken wings, salads, soups and much more. Happy hour is from 3:00pm-6:00pm, and offers a reduced price on a selection of drinks and dishes.

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