Katahdin Coffee House Pivots to Bank Corner

Assisting customers from the counter at the newly-renamed and relocated Katahdin House at Bank Corner is co-owner John Dudley (right). The new space is approximately four times larger and has ample room for families and groups. (Photo by Lura Jackson)

 

By Lura Jackson

 

One of the most popular Main Street eateries has taken a major step forward by reopening in an adjacent storefront. Katahdin Coffee House – soon to be known as simply Katahdin House – is now located at iconic Bank Corner in the heart of downtown Calais, and the new, much larger venue is creating a significant buzz.

Launched in August of 2018 by owners John and Theresa Dudley, Katahdin Coffee House was an immediate success. Offering its own blend of locally-themed coffees, smoothies, bagels from Bangor’s Bagel Central, homemade desserts, and breakfast and lunch sandwiches at a community-friendly price, the only challenge the new enterprise faced was a lack of space.

“We knew when we moved in that we needed a bigger spot,” Theresa said, explaining that the enthusiastic initial reception was indicative of the interest in their products. “When this [new location] opened up, it was like, ‘Oh, absolutely.’”

The Dudleys were presented with the opportunity to move next door by building owner Britani Holloway, who owns and operates the Urban Moose and the 45th Parallel. 

The Urban Moose was located at Bank Corner since 2006, occupying a unique space that has been long held by a variety of banks. Urban Moose will be relaunching from the coffee house’s former spot this spring.

Over a few weeks in January, the Dudleys labored to transition their store, completing the final push in four days. On Friday, February 1st, they opened at Bank Corner.

“I’m just amazed at the space,” Theresa enthused. “It’s like we have the ability to have every type of seating.” The new location is approximately four times larger than the last, with separate spaces for privacy – including the bank vault itself – at the same time as ample window seating.

Since being opened, the Dudleys have seen a large number of new and familiar faces coming in to check out the new space. “It’s been amazing,” John said, describing how the days have been steady despite inclement weather.

One gentleman that’s been in to visit pointed out where his desk used to be when he worked at one of the banks that previously called the building home. Other frequent visitors are families, something Theresa is especially happy to see. “I love seeing families sitting down. Whole families can come in and not feel crowded. Even when all the tables in the front are filled, there’s still plenty of space.”

Beyond simply offering more areas to be comfortable while enjoying their products, the Dudleys are aiming to continue expanding their menu in the coming weeks. Theresa has already been producing a steady variety of new pastries, including recently-added apple, lemon, blueberry, and raspberry turnovers. Other popular new items are pumpkin and chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter balls and truffles – returning the storied art of handmade confectionary to Calais’s Main Street once more.

While the Dudleys were aiming to launch in the new location with a salad cooler, that has been temporarily put on hold as equipment details are sorted out. Salads will be offered soon, though – along with a full lunch menu.

As one of the most distinguished buildings in the downtown area, Bank Corner seems to be fully embracing its newest iteration as a comfortable – and appetizing – community hangout.