Open Every Day at 11:00
Ask any Kennebunkport local for signs of summer, and it's likely The Clam Shack's opening will be among the top of the list. Combine the sight of fresh white paint with the scent of salty deep frying delicacies and the sound of marauding seagulls, and summer's upon you.
Perched at the bridge over the Kennebunk River, the Clam Shack provides a classic visual welcome to visitors. The tiny, immaculate fish shack serves award winning fried food, traditional boiled lobster dinners and lobster rolls served on freshly baked buns from a local bakery. A fresh lemonade stand and, for the truly indulgent, fried dough, are additional temptations.
While the Clam Shack's food is it's biggest draw (just try to resist it if you're stuck in Dock Square summertime traffic!), a close second is the sheer experience of dining at the Clam Shack. All dishes are take away, and diners eat al fresco on wooden benches and lobster crates, watching a colorful parade of passerby. Or you can find a spot on the narrow boardwalk that sits directly on the river, and watch striped bass and mallard ducks come up under the pilings looking for dropped treats. Locals know better than to sit on the bridge, but if you're brave, sit there for a spectacular view of the river and Dock Square. Beware of the brazen seagulls, who know a good thing when they see it.
Local lore establishes the Clam Shack's roots in 1968, when the little shanty was rented on a handshake. Current owner, Steve Kingston, bought the Shack and the adjoining Clam Shack Seafoods in 2000. In the decade since, Steve has kept a brisk trade going by following tradition and keeping the precariously balanced buildings shipshape.
Visiting the Clam Shack is a timeless summer ritual, good for the soul and a nostalgic taste of Maine.