Dover’s Chapel + Main: A new twist on a Kittery favorite

The owner of The Black Birch in Maine is about to unveil a new restaurant in downtown Dover

As a 20-year resident of Dover, Ben Lord is pleased to finally carry his restaurant experience over from Maine to his hometown in New Hampshire. As a co-owner of The Black Birch in Kittery, Maine, Lord has seen huge success since its opening day in 2011. Now, with the help of his two additional business partners Skye Bonney and David Yarrington, the team is eager to launch another original menu and eventually, a small brewery called Chapel + Main.

The new restaurant sits at 83 Main St. (right as Main Street connects to Central – hence the restaurant name), and has been a large construction project for all involved. For Lord and his team, the idea of opening a spot in Dover has been a lingering thought for quite some time now. “Every few years we get this feeling that we want to do a little something new or a little different,” says Lord. He wanted to generate a new opportunity. Lord is collaborating with his partners to give the restaurant a hint of something current, while sticking with some of The Black Birch’s finest qualities. They are working together to create a cheerful and fun spot, with exquisite food and exceptional drinks.

Skye Bonney is an experienced chef at The Black Birch, and through growth and skill, proved herself to be the right fit for helping Lord envision a new project. Bonney will be creating a quality menu containing New England based foods with a strong French influence. The options will be similar to the food stylings of the Black Birch, yet will be unique to match the vibes of the new location. Lord said that there is a good chance it will be a slightly lighter menu in general, but nothing is definitive yet.

David Yarrington will also be bringing a dynamic addition to the table. Ideally, within the next eight months or so, Chapel + Main will have a small, five-barrel. Eventually, they hope to have a more extensive food and beverage repertoire, hoping that the brewery will bring a new and exciting appeal.

Over the years at The Black Birch, Lord has come across numerous opportunities to get involved with the town of Kittery. “I really enjoy the way a restaurant can impact communities,” he says. “It’s fun for me to watch.” Lord and his team have worked with many nonprofits and they won’t be stopping any time soon. “I’m excited to see what other things are available in Dover,” Lord says.

The restaurant is scheduled to open in late spring or the beginning of summer, depending on the construction process. Lord is pleased to expand his knowledge and bring something new to the town of Dover, while still spending as much time as he can at The Black Birch.

“We have a consistency and commitment to quality,” Lord says. “We’re committed to being as much of a part of the restaurant every day as we can.”

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