Battered by constant storms as Maine restaurants are, mid-February post-Valentine's Day is as good a time as any to close for renovations. Yarmouth's Royal River Grillhouse has done just that, closing today and planning to reopen Thursday, February 26 with a major facelift.
Executive chef Charles Smith — who took over the role in summer 2014 when former head chef Tony Merrill rose to general manager — said everything from the decor to the menu will change. Expect new tables and chairs in the dining room, as well as an entirely new lounge area. Customers might not spot the acquisition of some fresh appliances in the kitchen, but one will be obvious: the restaurant's signature wood-fired grill will be getting company in the form of a newly built wood-fired oven.
The menu won't see a complete overhaul, as Smith said he'll be mixing the "old traditional items with several new ones." Additions to keep an eye out for include Cassoulet — a rich French casserole — and flatbreads taking full advantage of that wood oven.
Why the changes? Smith explained that it was simply time to switch things up inside the waterfront restaurant, and he wanted to make sure the menu was in line with those changes. "After being open for as many years as we have been, we felt as though it was time to refresh everything for our clientele. And as the new Executive Chef I wanted the menu to reflect the new atmosphere," he revealed. Fair enough.