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Samantha Schnare

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Posted: July 31, 2017

The Garage BBQ bar boasts “full lubrication service”

Written by: Samantha Schnare
The doors open up for an airy feel, and there's also outdoor seating at The Garage BBQ in Scarborough. Photos by Samantha Schnare

The doors open up for an airy feel, and there’s also outdoor seating at The Garage BBQ in Scarborough.
Photos by Samantha Schnare

When I mention in conversation, off-hand, that I’ve lived in Maine for six years and have never been to Old Orchard Beach, the reactions range from incredulous to very obvious disappointment. I have to agree; it’s a travesty, and I don’t know how I’m still allowed to live here.

As luck would have it though, I got a taste of the Vacationland vibe at OOB when I drove through on my way to The Garage BBQ, a barbecue joint with a killer bar in Scarborough.

As you may have guessed, The Garage BBQ is located in what used to be a church. Kidding, of course. The building has been a garage since it was converted from a livery stable long ago and, when the weather gets hot, the garage doors come up creating a seasonally appropriate open-air vibe. The restaurant will be open from April to October, so there’s a solid three months of open door time.

If you’d rather sit outside, you certainly can do that on their patio. Complete with bench seating and large umbrellas, it’s a good spot to get out of the sun and enjoy a couple beverages.

There are 14 beers on tap at The Garage BBQ.

There are 14 beers on tap at The Garage BBQ.

Inside, the decor is decidedly industrial, as you might expect from a restaurant that used to be a garage/stable. There’s plenty of table seating inside, but I sidled up to the marble bar and acquainted myself with the draft, cocktail and bourbon menu — aka the “full lubrication service.”

The Garage BBQ boasts 14 taps, which include most of Maine’s most popular brews: Geary’s, Shipyard, Allagash and Baxter. Budweiser and Coors are also there for good measure, as are a couple out-of-state craft selections like Jack’s Abby and Goose Island.

I myself went for the bartender’s recommendation of Jack’s Abby Smoke and Dagger, a 5.8 percent alcohol rauchbier that pairs very well with barbecue. For $6, how could I say no?

The Limoncello Razz Fizz is limoncello, raspberry puree and prosecco for $9.

The Limoncello Razz Fizz is limoncello, raspberry puree and prosecco for $9.

The beer did complement my order of six dry-rubbed wings ($11) very well, but at the end of the meal, I was in the mood for something a little fruity, so my eyes were immediately drawn to the Limoncello Razz Fizz ($9), a delightful combination of limoncello, raspberry puree and prosecco. Fizzy, fruity and cold are sometimes all you need.

There are two flat-screen TVs behind the bar if you need additional entertainment. The staff is fun to watch in its own right though, as they were all embroiled in a lively discussion of what the newest special (a cocktail with blueberries and vanilla vodka) should be named. I left before a decision was finally made, but it came down between Blueberry Pie and Blue Man Group. Who could possibly make that decision?

While Old Orchard Beach wasn’t my final destination, I will always credit Garage BBQ for giving me my first taste of the old-school boardwalk fun times. Definitely a bar to keep in your back pocket if you want to escape the crowds and get out of the sun for a little bit.

THE GARAGE BBQ

WHERE: 3 E Grand Ave., Scarborough
PHONE: 808-7422
WEBSITE: thegaragebbq.com
HOURS: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily
AMENITIES: Daily cocktail specials, large draft selection, plentiful outdoor seating, large bar, happy hour specials, fire pit, air conditioning inside
BOTTOM LINE: Located right on the edge of Old Orchard Beach, The Garage BBQ is a great spot to check out if you want to escape the craziness of the boardwalk for a couple hours. A healthy draft list, funny drink specials and delicious BBQ are sure to keep your thirst at bay.
WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE: Yes

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