CAPE ELIZABETH, Maine — In the more than 50 years the Lobster Shack at Two Lights has been open— not much has changed. Offering the same experience year after year is part of what makes the family-owned restaurant special.
"We change very little because people love the things they come here for," says Lobster Shack Owner Katie Porch.
However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, changing and innovating has become essential. It hasn't been an easy adjustment.
"All of a sudden, this is a massive massive adjustment for us and for our customers," says Porch.
If you walked onto Lobster Shack property today, you'd see marked walkways (one-way paths), plexiglass at the register, and no indoor dining, just take-out.
The new system has added a learning curve and a financial strain.
"There are increased costs in the number of people it takes to change the process and the packing. We don't do take out, we've never taken phone orders ever, it's all totally new!" says Porch.
Like most restaurants, revenue from take-out doesn't match what the Lobster Shack typically sees. Furthermore, with the 14-day quarantine for out-of-state folks still in effect, it's expected to be a slow summer for business.
However, Porch says she's been feeling supported by the community. "There are a lot of people who are trying to support local businesses. we've already had repeat customers."
Porch hopes more Mainers will dine with her this summer.
"You can't get more quintessential than basically eating a lobster right on the water!"
While the Lobster Shack is only currently open for take-out, it's preparing to set out these tables-- spaced 6 feet apart-- for normal, outdoor dining starting June 1st.