A customer orders food at Morse’s, a food truck-style eatery on Lookout Point in Harpswell, on Wednesday, June 19. The business has received Planning Board approval to add outdoor seating for up to 30 customers. (J. Craig Anderson photo)
Diners at Morse’s food truck-style eatery on Lookout Point in Harpswell will no longer need to schlep their own chairs to the scenic spot.
Kathy and Sheldon Morse, who ran the popular Morse’s Cribstone Grill on Bailey Island for 11 seasons before closing it in 2021, launched the food truck business last summer at 119 Lookout Point Road, next to lobster pound Henry Allen’s Seafood.
At the time, the Morses were unable to get permission to add picnic tables, which requires a more rigorous town approval process than a food truck business with no outdoor seating.
But on Wednesday, July 19, the Harpswell Planning Board voted unanimously to allow Morse’s to add seating for up to 30 people. Board members said the business, Morse Lobster LLC, had addressed their concerns related to parking and other issues.
Town Planner Mark Eyerman explained in a June interview that the seasonal mobile food handler license Morse’s had been operating under didn’t allow for fixed seating. The business needed to undergo a more rigorous application process to get permission to add tables, he said.
On Wednesday, Eyerman told the board that Morse’s had demonstrated that it has access to enough on-site parking, about 15 spaces, to accommodate up to 30 seated diners plus its staff. The site has closer to 25 spaces, but some of those are used by Henry Allen’s Seafood and other visitors to the picturesque waterfront site.
In a July 17 memo to the Planning Board, Eyerman recommended approval of the request to add picnic tables.
After the vote, Sheldon Morse addressed the board members and thanked them for granting the approval. In an interview, Morse said he planned to install the picnic tables immediately.
“For a couple years, we’ve been trying to put this thing back together,” he said, referring to the former Bailey Island restaurant. “It’s kind of like building a puzzle, and this is the last piece.”
Morse said the addition of picnic tables is particularly important because many of the mobile eatery’s customers are older.
“They need to be able to come here and sit down,” he said.
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