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Bedrock Blasted to Build New 45-Room Inn in Downtown Bar Harbor, Maine

Mon December 19, 2022 - Northeast Edition #1
Bangor Daily News

Artist rendering of how the new B&B, right, would sit on Cottage Street. (Rendering courtesy of The QuietsideJournal)
Artist rendering of how the new B&B, right, would sit on Cottage Street. (Rendering courtesy of The QuietsideJournal)

New construction began in November to build an inn in a prominent part of downtown Bar Harbor, Maine, where run-down buildings once stood, the Bangor Daily News reported Dec. 18.

Crews began working on the 45-room inn, which under the town's ordinances falls under the heading of a bed and breakfast, just as Bar Harbor's annual tourist season wound down. Workers have been digging the inn's foundation, and blasting away bedrock, for a drive-in basement parking garage large enough to hold 45 spaces — one spot for each guest room.

The Daily News noted that it is uncertain when the lodging business will open or what its name will be.

The development, which will revive a dormant commercial property in the center of the busy downtown village, comes as the number of tourists to Bar Harbor has surged in the past two years following the pandemic.

Warning whistles and blasts at the project site have punctuated working hours at the western end of Cottage Street, where the new inn is going up next to Bar Harbor's municipal building, and directly across the street from Jordan's Restaurant.

Stephen Coston, one of the two owners of the new inn, said he and his partner Brian Shaw are unsure whether they will be able to open in time for next year's tourist season.

"That's the million-dollar question," he told the Bangor news source. "We hope to open in 2023."

New Bar Harbor Inn to Be Open Year Round

Coston, who owns several other B&Bs and inns in Bar Harbor, is not required by the town to have on-site parking at the new tourist lodge because of its land use classification. But, with downtown parking hard to come by during Bar Harbor's busy summers, the inn would not succeed without it, he said.

"I'm not building a lodging business without parking," he explained. "We'd be crucified."

The B&B will have three floors, 10 of which will be on the first floor, along with a lobby and a restaurant. The remaining rooms are planned for the second and third floors.

Coston said the cost of breakfast at the inn will be included in the price guests pay, but the restaurant will be open to the public for lunch and dinner.

He and Shaw plan to run the inn and restaurant year-round, even though many other businesses and hotels in Bar Harbor close from November until April. They are leaning toward naming the establishment "The Pathmaker" — an homage to the trails of the nearby Acadia National Park, though Coston said that name is currently only an idea. He added that they have not yet decided if the restaurant will have a separate name.

For many years, the site of the new inn was home to a large, dilapidated garage that was demolished nine years ago after heavy snow made part of the roof cave in. Another adjacent barn-style building also was determined to be unsafe before being razed in 2019.

Part of the new inn also will occupy a former lot on Summer Street, which runs parallel to Cottage Street, where a derelict house also had drawn the town's attention before it was taken down. The entrance to the inn's basement garage will be on the Summer Street site.

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