Tuesday, March 8, 2016


Many tourists are surprised when they walk down Cottage street and spot a true fast food shop - Subway has been doing very well in Bar Harbor for years now.  They are surprised because many of them have heard that Bar Harbor has banned fast food places.  The fact is they have not banned them, but they have banned drive throughs, which has the same effect as banning fast food places.  Since Subway doesn't use a drive through window, the ban doesn't effect them.
It's not that people haven't tried to make a fast food place work in town, I remember many years ago when I first moved to Bar Harbor there was a burger joint on Cottage street.  When its lease was up, the rent was increased to a point that the burger shop could not afford to stay there and a restaurant took over the building.  Others have tried since than and failed for the same reason - very high rent increases.
What many don't know about Bar Harbor is that the majority of the buildings in town are owned by people from away.  The result is this game of musical chairs that is played each year with shops always having to relocate or close. 
So if you are ever walking down a street in town and asking yourself - wasn't that shop on the other end of the street last year, or wasn't that business on another street in town last year, your probably right and it was most likely a victim of this crazy game of musical chairs that gets played out at the start of each new tourist season.


Many  know that once there was a cog train that carried passengers from Eagle Lake to the summit of Cadillac Mountain (than called Green Mountain), but did you know that once there was a train known as the Bar Harbor Express?  In it's day it was one of the fastest trains in New England, carrying passengers in luxury  cars as they made their way toward bar Harbor. 
But the Bar Harbor Express never reached Bar Harbor, it only went as far as Hancock, where passengers stepped off of the train and onto one of several ferry's which carried them to Bar Harbor.  At one time old maps show a building on the end of the town pier owned by the railroad company where tickets for the train were sold.  So to travel to the actual train station in Hancock, you had to purchase two tickets in Bar Harbor, one for the train and one for the ferry which got you to the train.
One of the original locomotives which was part of the Bar Harbor express was recently purchased from the city of waterville, Maine where it has been on display for many years.  The train is being brought back to life and will one day soon be making excursion trips in the ellsworth area.


Once there was a pizza shop on cottage street named Carlo's Pizza.  It was always a very busy shop with people often waiting for a table to become empty.  One day Carlo's came up with an idea for a new sandwich - I am not sure what that sandwich was first named, but it soon was renamed The Carlo's Nightmare. 
This happened when someone placed a very large order of the sandwiches for an event, something like 150 of them.  By the time Carlos had finished making all those sandwiches, he changed the name and that's how the Carlo's Nightmare became to be one of the most popular sandwiches in Bar Harbor.
Sadly, Charlo's went on vacation one day to Florida and passed away, and for many years the famous sandwich seemed lost because his once famous pizza shop cloed without him.
One day I decided to send a letter to the local paper asking if there was anyone out there who knew what went into this famous sandwich.  as it turned out, there was.  Someone who use to work there and make sandwiches recalled exactly how they were made. 
Not too long after that, another local pizza shop in town began making the same sandwich but with a slightly different name - it is now called the Rosalie's Nightmare, sold at Rosalie's Pizza and sub shop on Cottage street.  The sandwich is a huge hit with the locals and if you haven't tried one, you don't know what your missing.