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Keep ME Open: Pepino's Restaurant added a new compliment to its margaritas, Maine craft beer

The Mexican restaurant paired with Bissell Brothers Three Rivers Brewery for a Father's Day pop-up event.

BANGOR, Maine — Families across Maine have their own traditions when it comes to celebrating Father's Day. Some spend the holiday on the lake or the ocean while others hit the golf course or baseball field.

Other dads may insist on popping open a few beers or sip a few margaritas.

Well, if your dad fits in with the latter group, Pepino's Restaurant in downtown Bangor was the place to be at. The Mexican restaurant paired with Bissell Brothers Three Rivers Brewery for a Father's Day pop-up event.

Pepino's owner Susan Stephenson said local small businesses are all working to fully reopen and some are working together.

“Hey, let’s collaborate, we’re in this together, let’s do some fun stuff," Stephenson added about working with local breweries. “Of course, people love our margaritas, but they also love other options.”

The restaurant paired with Orono Brewing Company last month but collaborated with Bissell Brothers for Father's Day. Matt Robinson is the General Manage of Bissell Brothers Three Rivers.

“For Father’s Day, Beer and Dads kind of go hand and hand," Robinson said. 

After a brief phone call with Stephenson, Robinson knew this partnership was going to work.

Credit: NCM

“You’re figuring out how to do this, how to pivot, you’re on fire, it was impossible to say no to Susan after ten minutes on the phone," he added.

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The two businesses sold Margaritas, craft beer, and food to dads young and old. 

Credit: NCM

Pepino's has been serving the Bangor area for 42 years so not much is new for restaurant management. But the coronavirus pandemic is different.

“We’ve certainly never seen anything like this," Stephenson added. “It’s been interesting and challenging but also pretty exciting.” 

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The restaurant set up an outdoor seating area outside the restaurant with umbrellas and picnic tables.

“For the last three months, they’ve picked up their food and left and now it’s great to at least connect with them even if we are masked and they’re a little bit down the street," Stephenson said.

Credit: NCM

The restaurant is still offering curbside pickup and delivery and plans to reopen its dine-in service later this summer.

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