Patrick and Jessica Duffy have taken their experience in the food industry full circle.

On July 7, the Warren couple opened 18 Central, an oyster bar and grill, located in Rockport's Shepherd building.

Patrick worked at Shepherd's Pie, the restaurant formerly housed in the space, under Chef Mark Senders, eventually taking his place when Senders purchased the Bagel Cafe in Camden and Belfast.

Jessica used to work at Fresh and was set to work at the new 16 Bay View Hotel in Camden when owners Stuart and Marianne Smith approached her with the idea of opening a restaurant in the Shepherd building. The Smiths purchased the Rockport building in May.

It was a two-month turnaround from the time the Duffys agreed to open a restaurant to the time it officially opened for business. The reopened space includes new lighting, exposed brick and outside seating on a new patio overlooking the harbor.

The restaurant features a variety of different dishes, including steak, chicken, burgers and seafood entrees made with mostly Maine seafood. All the dishes except the fried chicken come off the wood-fired grill. The open concept kitchen allows diners to watch their food being prepared. The grill also has a raw bar with a daily selection of chilled seafood.

It seats about 80 customers and employs 13 people, a majority of whom live in and originate from the Midcoast.

18 Central is open six days a week from 5 to 9 p.m. through Columbus Day and is closed on Wednesdays. Between Columbus Day and Memorial Day, it will be closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays and the entire month of March. It will be closed on major holidays.

Reservations may be placed by calling 466-9055, but both the outside patio and bar seating is first-come, first-serve.

Courier Publications Editor Kim Lincoln can be reached at 236-8511 or by email at