Black Harpoon restaurant makes its mark

By Christine Simmonds | Nov 06, 2019
Photo by: Christine Simmonds Emily Chadwick proudly shows off the Black Harpoon bumper stickers in Port Clyde.

Port Clyde — The Black Harpoon restaurant in Port Clyde is responsible for a bumper sticker sensation. The phrase can be seen on trucks and cars around Maine, especially in the Midcoast: "I 'heart' ‘Poon."

Emily Chadwick, owner of the Black Harpoon, stated that her husband, Chris, came up with the slogan during his bachelor days when he ran the restaurant alone. If the bumper sticker is read out loud, it sounds like, “I harpoon.” So Chadwick pointed out while it is a little tongue-in-cheek, it does have a meaning and relation to the restaurant.

The stickers were printed up at PDQ in Rockland, and quickly became a phenomenon.

Once during the couple’s dating years, Chadwick took her husband to a wedding in New York. They were driving on the highway and a man started to honk and wave. Chadwick said she did not know what was going on, but her husband realized right away. They pulled over, and sure enough the man wanted a bumper sticker. Chris was more than happy to accommodate him.

The bumper stickers have made their way all over the world. Tourists come to the Black Harpoon, then return home with the stickers and send photographs to Chadwick of where they have been placed. When the Chadwicks travel anywhere, they bring a stack with them.

Chadwick said she knows of stickers in the Caribbean, Japan, California, Arizona and Colorado to name a few. There is even one on the back of the Mount Washington sign.

The "I 'heart' ‘Poon" slogan is now available on t-shirts and beer koozies as well.

The Black Harpoon is currently open Tuesday through Saturday, 4:30 to 8 p.m. for the winter. On Sundays, they are open for breakfast from 8 to 10 a.m.

The Black Harpoon restaurant can be found in Port Clyde. (Photo by: Christine Simmonds)
The Black Harpoon restaurant always keeps a stack of bumper stickers on hand. (Photo by: Christine Simmonds)
The "I 'heart' 'Poon slogan is available on t-shirts and beer koozies. (Photo by: Christine Simmonds)
Comments (2)
Posted by: Barry Douglas Morse | Nov 07, 2019 10:39

Of course "poon" is "any of several East Indian trees of the genus Calophyllum, that yield a light, hard wood used for masts, spars, etc." And harpoons, by the way.

I wonder why my spell checker fights me when I try to use the word in a sentence. ;)

Posted by: Deb Dodge | Nov 06, 2019 13:42

I guess you have no idea what "poon" or poon tang means....... google it.


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