Maine has many great things going for it, but among the tops on that list is summertime. They call it ‘Vacationland’ for a reason, after all… Summer in Maine means lots of things: beaches; lobsters; lots of recreation on the mountains, lakes, and rivers; and Sea Dogs baseball, among other things. But here at FTS, one of the things we look forward to doing in summer is getting those steins filled OUTSIDE!
In our FTS Al Fresco series, we’ll take a look, throughout the summer, at some of the best spots to wet your whistle in Maine.
When one thinks about filling one’s stein Al Fresco, one doesn’t immediately look to Aroostook County as a prime location. With its perception of brutally cold weather for the majority of the calendar year, Northern Maine doesn’t always sound like the best place to enjoy a relaxing outdoor cocktail.
Aroostook County isn’t all snow and moose, however. If you’ve never experienced one of The County’s picturesque lakes, which are ideal for boating and fishing, then you haven’t experienced “Vacationland” in all its glory. One such lake is Long Lake, and tucked away in the tiny town of Sinclair is the Long Lake Sporting Club, a premier destination for summertime dining and imbibing in Northern Maine.
Whether you arrive at the Sporting Club by car or by riding up in your party boat (which the Sporting Club will also fill up with gas, at cost, of course), Fill The Steins recommends making your first stop their beautiful outdoor patio. With its full bar and appetizer menu, friendly service, and gorgeous views of the tranquil Long Lake, the Sporting Club’s patio is the perfect place to fill your stein with a large group of family and friends. If the weather’s not cooperating, the Sporting Club also features a relaxed indoor lounge, complete with a Wurlitzer jukebox and dance floor.
One of the great, unique characteristics of the Sporting Club is their dinner service. You actually order your dinner (we recommend the Deb Special – a boneless rib eye and scallop combo) while you’re filling your stein on the patio or in the lounge. Once your dinner’s ready, the staff escorts you to your table in their dining room, where the food runners are hard at work bringing out your party’s meals. This is definitely unorthodox, however it’s terribly relaxing and, quite frankly, conducive to ordering that extra pre-dinner cocktail. After all, why be stuck at the dining room table waiting for your meal when you can be taking in Maine’s fresh summer air on the patio?
With its stunning patio views, sturdy drinks, excellent food, and one-of-a-kind dining experience, the Long Lake Sporting Club is a must-visit destination the next time you’re in the St. John Valley. It’s already August, though, so if you want to drink Al Fresco, you’d better hurry…the season’s first snowstorm must be right around the corner.
The FTS Al Fresco Rundown:
48 Sinclair Rd. Sinclair, ME 04779
Lounge Hours: 11:00AM-close (summer/winter); 2:00pm-close (spring/fall)
Dining Hours: 5:00pm-9:00pm (M-F); 4:30pm-9:00pm (Saturday); 12:00pm-8:00pm (Sunday)
Credit Cards: In the dining room, yes. Patio and Lounge are cash only.
Parking: A spacious lot for your car and plenty of docks for your boat.
Full, full bar
Vibe is casual
Have you been to the Long Lake Sporting Club? What did you think? Share your thoughts in the comments section below and on Twitter using #FTSAlFresco!
Photo courtesy: Long Lake Sporting Club