Defending my New Favorite Hangout

Posted by Jim on Jun 27th, 2008
Jun 27

The MaineToday site has been down all morning.  A note on the site earlier today said it would be back up at 9 AM.  I’ve been able to connect to the site occasionally since then, but the load times are terribly slow (if the page loads at all).  I was able to read this blog post by Amy Martin about Prost! and Novare Res.  I wanted to comment on it, offering my rebuttle to her complaints about Novare Res and praises of Prost!, but because of the hosting site’s uptime issues, I have been unable to leave a comment.  So, for your reading enjoyment, here’s what I had to say.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to post the comment later on today, once MaineToday gets itself fixed.

Hi Amy, glad to see you jumped right in to this blog.  I’m looking forward to your reviews.  Since you mentioned you haven’t been there yet, let me recommend that you try Novare Res soon, despite your complaint that they don’t have local micros.  Don’t let that deter you.  It’s the kind of bar you go to to not drink the same Shipyard and Geary’s selections everyone else in town has.  It’s about expanding your pallet and trying something exciting and new.  And, even if you are on a locals only kick, they have plenty of the great Allagash beers that no one else has.

Even better, you don’t have to deal with clueless waitstaff in gimmicky costumes.  Novare Res’ staff is very knowledgeable and have always been able to offer me a suggestion or recommendation.  Don’t expect them to have tried every beer availble (there are well over 200), but you can get an opinion on any style available.  I see it as a bonus that you don’t have to worry about being offered a shooter or some silly combination of flavored vodkas presented as a martini.  It’s all beer, with a few choice wines, ports and tequilas, all made for sipping and savoring, not for getting you drunk.  That should keep away the “dude-bags.”

As for alienating their loyal customers, I have seen nothing that would suggest that. [Should they expand their hours? Sure, but that’s because I can’t get enough, not because I’ve been shooed out the door.]  If anything, I think they are catering to the loyal customer, not the guy from Massachusetts who’s up for the weekend.  Like a good librarian knows what kinds of books you’ll like, the waitstaff there wants to know what kind of beers you enjoy.  They want to have your drink ready when you sit down, not because you always order the same thing, but because they know you’ll love the new Trappist that was just delivered.

I have yet to try out Prost!, so I won’t say that I won’t like it there, but everything you said about it (and what I’ve read on the other beer blogs in town) makes me want to avoid it.  A bar that wants to cater to beer connesseurs that is attached to a dance club and offers Goldschlager and Jagermeister shots makes question it’s true motives.  I guess I’m looking at it this way:  Prost! is like an Applebees or Chilis (silly, gimmicky and trying to pull in as many passerbys as possible) and Novare Res is like Street & Co. or Bresca (a restaurant/bar for people who are passionate about food/beer).  There is so much offered at Novare Res, why would I go to a competitor that offers a lesser experience?

One last note: Novare Res also had some issues with taps when they first opened.  Maybe it’s the ghost of Neal Dow haunting the new bars in town that’s causing problems with the free flow of alcohol?  I hope not!  Anyway, good luck with the blog.  One question for you: how soon until the banner with John’s goofy expression is replaced?