There isn't another place in this world as special and memorable as the Chowder House in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. For so many splendid reasons, which I will attempt to describe.
Perched along the harbor, the main building was originally built in the 1800's as a granary where schooners would tie up to load grain and supplies. Some 37 years ago, an innovative couple purchased the building and opened up the CH, a creative locale offering home-cooked meals within a very personalized, kookie interior dining area and bar reminiscent or an old pirate saloon and a haunted house. Think: mannequins, old photos, boat parts everywhere, and lots and lots of hand carved wood.
We happened upon the CH by coincidence on our way home to our hotel. First we entered the outdoor patio which is essentially an old schooner (the bar) with stools around it, overlooking the bay. Not only were Sally and Bob immensely friendly, they immediately welcomed our little Jack Russell to sit with us at the bar. After a drink (or two, or three), I ventured inside in search of the loo and stumbled into their wonderland of pirates and memories. I was initially so overcome by the decor's originality, I thought I had accidentally stepped into a museum. But no, Bob was there to direct me to the lavatories and share a story or two about the CH.
Nowadays the inside is only available for private functions and events. But luckily, Sally and Bob still share their special outside space -- for man and his best friend, alike.