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Claire Jeffers

Claire Jeffers is a freelance writer living in Portland, Maine. Follow her on Twitter: @claireeats

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Posted: July 17, 2014

Classic pub fare & craft beer at Joshua’s in Brunswick

The traditions of local brews, friendly service and trinket-covered walls haven’t changed though.

Written by: Claire Jeffers
There’s ample seating at Joshua’s, both inside and out, and the tchotchkes on the walls make for a fun and lively atmosphere. Claire Jeffers photo

There’s ample seating at Joshua’s, both inside and out, and the tchotchkes on the walls make for a fun and lively atmosphere. Claire Jeffers photo

Is there a legal limit to how many tchotchkes one restaurant can have? By the looks of the walls in Joshua’s Restaurant & Tavern – a pub-style restaurant on Brunswick’s main drag – there is not. License plates, stickers, maps, photos, American flags and commemorative plaques – you name it – these dust collectors have been accumulating for decades, ever since the first iteration of the Siatras family restaurant opened in the 1950s.

Back then, Joshua’s was known by a different name and concept. But since the early 1990s, Joshua’s has offered Brunswick locals classic pub fare, craft beer and every once in a while, a house-made drink inspired by mint or rhubarb from the garden.


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Joshua's Restaurant & Tavern has been a mainstay in Brunswick for over 24 years.  Claire Jeffers photo

Joshua’s Restaurant & Tavern has been a mainstay in Brunswick for over 24 years. Claire Jeffers photo

While the two-floor, two-patio restaurant model, with a 365-person capacity, has worked for years, starting this summer Joshua’s will no longer open its second floor – an indoor and outdoor dining area – nightly. Instead, this space will be reserved for private functions only. Plans could change again if there’s a growing demand to sit upstairs.

What does this mean for the rest of Joshua’s? The restaurant and tavern menus have merged and the “restaurant & tavern” concept, for now anyway, is only divided by a wall separating a dining area from the tavern room, where two pool tables ($1 per game) and a foosball table sit under green lights adjacent to the bar.

The bar area seems to be the most heavily decorated with trinkets and it would look strange with only a few, so why not cover every inch of wall space?

Happy hour, featuring 25 cents off draft beers and 50 cents off bottles, goes until 8 p.m. every night.  Claire Jeffers photo

Happy hour, featuring 25 cents off draft beers and 50 cents off bottles, goes until 8 p.m. every night. Claire Jeffers photo

Service at Joshua’s is quick, friendly and accommodating. A Gritty McDuff’s Summer Ale was ordered during happy hour, when drafts are 25 cents off (every night until 8 o’clock), but had gone flat and tasteless. The server asked no questions and brought over another beer.

While the tavern room is dark and cavernous, the patio on the front walkway, fit with 14 tables, is a great way to spend a summer evening.

Joshua’s Restaurant & Tavern

WHERE: 123 Maine St., Brunswick
PHONE: 725-7981
WEBSITE: joshuastavern.com
HOURS: 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily
SPECIALS: Happy hour until 8 p.m.: 25 cents off drafts, 50 cents off bottles; check Facebook or ask your server about other daily drink and food specials.
AMENITIES: Pool tables, foosball, outdoor seating.
BOTTOM LINE: A Brunswick mainstay pub, Joshua’s is undergoing some changes this summer but is still a reliable place to get a local craft beer and a plate of chicken wings. Expect a crowd on weekend nights.
WHEELCHAIR ACCESS: Call ahead.

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