Sea Dog Brewing Company construction plans approved

By Susan Mustapich | May 10, 2016
Photo by: File photo

CAMDEN — The Sea Dog Brewing Company's plans to open a new restaurant in Camden are back on track, after obtaining site plan review May 5 from the Planning Board. The approval vote was unanimous.

In 1993, the original Sea Dog Brewing Company was founded in Camden and located in the Knox Mill. The brew pub closed its doors in 2002. In 2003, owner Fred Forsley purchased the company and currently operates Sea Dog Brew Pubs in Topsham, South Portland, Bangor, North Conway, N.H. and Clearwater, Fla.

This time around, the brew pub is leasing and renovating the building that formerly housed Cappy's Chowder House for more than 30 years.

Current renovation plans call for interior and exterior changes, including a new kitchen design, a new central bar, and two new decks that will offer harbor views and outdoor dining. Beer won't be made in Camden, but the brewing process will be finished in a "showpiece" conditioning tank in the new pub.

Planning Board site plan approval was required in order to construct the 820-square-foot upper deck and the 1,225-square-foot lower deck on the harbor side of the building. The major interior renovations were also held up pending approval.

Cappy's Real Estate LLC's, as represented by architect/engineer Blaine M Buck, appeared before the Planning Board April 7 and 21, and May 5.

At the April 21 site plan meeting, approval was not issued. Instead, the Planning Board required additional information on outdoor lighting planned for the new decks.

Board members raised concerns about the amount and brightness of the lights, the impact on abutting properties and views from across the harbor, and an evaluation of the number and brightness of the light array.

On May 2, Cappy's Real Estate LLC submitted additional information on the lighting, supplied by engineer Timothy D. Matthews, with Swiftcurrent Engineering Services of Yarmouth.

Strings of decorative white lights on the upper and lower decks will be installed on the underside of the awnings. The awning canopy will prevent any direct light from being projected above a 90-degree angle, and the awning side panels will reduce light spillage, according to Matthews.

The upper deck light string contains one 100-foot and one 48-foot string with 74 lamps. The lower deck contains one 100-foot strand with 50 lamps. The lights on the strings are 15-watt bulbs, and can be dimmed. Lighting will not be in place when the awnings are down.

The overall brightness of all of the deck lighting will be similar to the output of three 48-inch-long florescent strip lights, according to Matthews. Overall, the exterior lighting "has been designed and shielded in such a manner to avoid any undue adverse impact on the neighboring properties and rights-of-way," he wrote.

Sea Dog is expected to open in late June, early July.

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