Mimi’s Kitchen Offers Subs and More for Festival

Holding up the sign for Mimi's Kitchen on Main Street in Calais is Mandy Allen. The new sit-in sub shop is located in the former Bordertown Subz location at 313 Main Street. It will be officially open on Wednesday, August 9th. (Photo by Lura Jackson) See story on page 2.

By Lura Jackson

 

If you’re looking for a new place to eat, Mimi’s Kitchen – located in the former Bordertown Subz building on Main Street – will be opening on Wednesday, August 9th, just in time for the International Homecoming Festival. The eat-in sandwich shop will offer its customers an array of hot subs, cold subs, seasonal soups, and salads.

“We have a way different menu,” said Mandy Allen, who, along with her husband, John Bromley, owns and operates the restaurant. The pair are offering significantly more hot subs than the previous owners, including cheesesteak hoagies, steak bombs, mushroomsteaks, and chicken parmesan, among many others. 

Allen and Bromley from the North Shore of Massachusetts originally, an area where there is an active community of Greek and Portugese residents, and that has further influenced their menu. “They have just got some fantastic things to eat down there in that type of environment,” said Allen. Selections that include hot and sweet Capicolas, pastrami, salami, and other delicatessen meats fill the menu. “We’re trying to bring some of that up here so we can have something different than what is normally in the sub shop here.”

Allen and Bromley originally moved to Maine about 20 years ago; they lived in Fryeburg for 17 years while their children grew up. At that point, they decided they wanted to move further north and live off the land. They spent two years in Alexander building a homestead with solar panels and wind power, an effort that they describe as rewarding but exhausting. 

When their homestead was more or less complete, Allen began looking for a business to become involved with. Her father was the owner of several businesses in Massachusetts, most of which were related to trucking. When she found out that Bordertown Subz was available, she and her husband decided to put his cooking background and her front-of-house expertise to use.

“This is the greatest way to be a part of the community – to meet all sorts of people in the area, learn things about it, have fun and make money and feed people,” said Allen. “People are always happy when you feed them.”

The name Mimi comes from Allen’s 8-year old grandson, who she calls “Munky” in turn. “The kid has got his own meatball sub that he orders everywhere we go, and he asked me to put it on my menu,” said Allen. Munky’s Meatball has a homemade sauce, American cheese, pickles, lettuce, tomato, and green peppers, for those who want to give it a try.

The kitchen area of the shop has been revamped with new gaskets, new hinges, and similar upgrades to the older equipment. The front sitting area has three booths and new tables are coming in. There’s an art section so when kids come in they can use the crayons and paper, and there are games available like chess that adults can also enjoy.

Their regular business hours – outside of festival – will be from Monday through Sunday, from 11-2, with a break from 2-5, and then opening again from 5-8. They will adjust their hours depending on how customers respond. For festival, the pair are planning to be open until people stop coming in. 

The couple are very open to customer feedback in terms of what they would like to see on the menu and when they should be open. “I have a lot of ideas and I’ll be implementing them as time goes on,” said Allen. (Hint: ask her about chicken and waffles.) “Of course, I’ll always be talking to everybody and finding out ‘What do you guys want? Is there something I can get and order and make that you guys really like around this way that you don’t have anymore for whatever reason?’ I really want to get things that people want.”

 

If you’re in town regularly or just visiting for the festival, be sure to check out the newest addition to Main Street eateries. To reach Mimi’s Kitchen, call 454-8562.