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Thomaston restaurant faces pedestrian safety concerns

By Christine Simmonds | Jan 10, 2020
Photo by: Christine Simmonds The future home of Doug's Seafood in Thomaston.

Thomaston — Doug Anderson of Florida, formerly of Port Clyde, will be opening a restaurant in Thomaston during spring 2020 – his fourth eatery named Doug’s Seafood. There have been concerns expressed to both the Planning Board and the Selectboard by abutting property owner Zel Bowman-Laberge.

Bowman-Laberge lives across the lot where Doug’s Seafood will be built, 444 Main Street. She is worried about pedestrians who use wheelchairs or walkers, or who are not in cars, safely accessing Anderson’s restaurant.

She pointed out there is no sidewalk on the side of the street where the restaurant will be, and no crosswalk from the sidewalk on the other side to the restaurant.

She has also expressed worry about how the business will integrate with the Thomaston Green.

When the prison left town, Thomaston invested money into the property, and many people worked "very hard" to come up with the design standards, Bowman-Leberge said.

She wished the Doug’s Seafood design included more grass to maintain those ideals, as “this will set the standard for how the Green is developed.”

Bowman-Laberge said she supports the development of the Green. She thinks architect John Hansen did a “fantastic job” with the design of Doug’s Seafood. She has stated multiple times that she is excited to visit the incoming restaurant.

Andrew Hendrich, a senior engineer of Gartley & Dorsky in Camden and Anderson do not agree with Bowman-Leberge’s concerns. Hendrich pointed out that he and Anderson brought the plan to the planning board, and it was approved.

In addition, Hendrich and Anderson both said the plans follow all guidelines laid out by the Americans With Disabilities Act. There is a walkway right up to the front door of the restaurant, and a six foot walkway around the building.

Hendrich said there is currently a crosswalk near Main Street that pedestrians can use, and then walk “about 300 feet” to get to Doug’s Seafood.

Hendrich and Anderson both stated they will work with the town to ensure everyone is happy. Anderson pointed out that the plans have been redrawn three times to meet the standards of the planning board.

“Whatever they want, we will do it,” Anderson said.

Anderson further mentioned that he does not own the property along Route One, and is not able to build a sidewalk there, “even if [he] wanted to.”

Both Anderson and Hendrich stated that they will work to connect with any new sidewalks or roads that are built, such as a road from Ship Street to Wadsworth.

Until they develop the Green further and build more sidewalks, Anderson said such a discussion was a, “moot point.”

Anderson lived his whole life in Port Clyde, and raised his family there. He worked as a commercial fisherman, and owned multiple boats.

In 1980, Anderson opened his first restaurant named Doug’s Seafood. It was in Rockland at the current location of Sweetpea's -- 229 Park Street.

His next Doug’s Seafood was a small take-out stand by Drift Inn beach in Port Clyde, which he operated in the summer.

The third one, which is still operating, is located in Florida. That business expanded from Anderson selling lobsters from a trailer, to a retail store and a fish market. The latest expansion of the market includes a kitchen and a dining room that can seat up to 80 people.

Anderson said he would like the new restaurant to be open year-round. He and his wife Rhonda plan to summer in Maine and operate the restaurant here, and return to Florida for winters and help run the Doug’s Seafood there. They have family and trusted staff members to help operate the businesses while they are away from either.

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Comments (10)
Posted by: Alana Allen | Sep 15, 2020 15:48

Someone has to complain. Just the way it is.


Posted by: Alana Allen | Sep 15, 2020 15:46

Can't wait for Doug's Seafood. Hubby will be so happy.

Posted by: Patricia Weaver | Sep 05, 2020 11:50

can't wait to have some great seafood!!!

Posted by: Rick Winslow | Aug 30, 2020 19:41

Why is Zel Bowman-Laberge so worried about it? I live only feet from the new Station 118 in town. Yes I could have complained to the town about it but these people are trying to make a living in a difficult industry during COVID. There's more noise, more smells, more trash in my yard, and I've almost been in several vehicle accidents because people don't stop coming out onto the road. But I haven't said a word. People have also overflow-parked obstructing access to my driveway and in the "No Parking" area across the street.

Posted by: Sam Charlton | Jan 12, 2020 13:29

Doug's Seafood will be a welcome business in Thomaston. Build it and they will come; with or without sidewalks and crosswalks.


Posted by: Ivan Stone | Jan 11, 2020 10:42

So excited to see Doug’s Seafood come back! Much luck to the Anderson’s, great people to work for!  Loved my job back in the 80’s!! Eleanor Stone

Posted by: Lee H. Marshall | Jan 11, 2020 09:29

Doug’s Seafood had excellent food when the takeout was in Port Clyde. Always fresh, decent prices and good portions. I really missed it when Doug moved away and can not wait to have more of Doug’s cooking.

Welcome back, Doug!

Posted by: Ernie Dugan | Jan 10, 2020 20:57

welcome back Doug


Posted by: Bill Packard | Jan 10, 2020 19:21

Where will these proposed walkers be walking from?

Posted by: Ragna Weaver | Jan 10, 2020 14:18

Can't wait for Doug's Seafood to come to Thomaston. They are a great couple, & certainly will serve wonderful food. 


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