Contact: Jenifer Oakes
95 Searsport Ave.
Belfast, ME 04915
Hours: Open 7 days 3–10 and Brunch on Sunday 9–2
Our story began, as so many do, over a few beers after work. Ron, Roz and Jenifer all worked together for many years at Darby’s, a restaurant in Belfast, Maine that has become an institution. Ron ran the kitchen for 20 years and Jen and Roz had been waiting tables there for a long time. As much as we all loved working there, we were bored. Like a lot of people in this business, we dreamt of one day having a place of our own. Our conversations quickly progressed from “Wouldn’t it be cool if…” to “How are we going to make this happen?” One day in Feb. 2012, we got our answer. Ron was driving up Route 1 one evening and saw a for lease sign on the building that would become Nautilus. The location was great, right on Route 1, and the view of the bay is outstanding. The building was crying out to be a seafood restaurant. Two days later, the three of us were planning our restaurant. A week after that, we quit our jobs and started working on Nautilus full time.
Our goal was to create a comfortable, casual environment where people could relax and unwind and enjoy a great meal at the same time. Ron wrote a menu that features his signature style of cooking which is innovative while remaining accessible. His favorite thing to do is take the foods we all grew up with and kick them up a notch. It’s just like Mom made, only way better. We cook most everything from scratch, from our pasta sauces to our pie crusts, and you can tell. If you were to look around in our pantry, you would find ingredients, not “product”. It’s very important to all of us to serve the best food, made with the freshest ingredients, that we know how. We don’t think food has to be fancy to be great. Likewise, in the dining room, we wanted to create an atmosphere that was inviting and comfortable, nice, but not too nice. We want our guests to feel welcome and taken care of whether they pop over after work or are out for a special evening. There’s room for everyone at our table.