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Catastrophe Strikes Conte's 1894, Evicted and Sued for Rent and Damages

Rockland loses a classic.

Chelsea J./Yelp

One of the most unusual restaurants in Maine, Conte's 1894, has closed. Bangor Daily News reports that the landlord, Robert Wiggin, evicted the restaurant from its home at 148 South Maine St. and is suing for "nearly $30,000 for back rent and damage."

Cook-owner John Conte, a Soup Nazi-esque iconoclast prone to closing early and making outbursts like "Chefs today are nothing but a bunch of punks," conceded that he owes rent but denied the damage claims.

Conte's eccentricities made the decades old restaurant a challenging place to visit, but his skill in the kitchen led happy customers like Robert's Maine Grill chef Brandon Blethen to call him "a one-man seafood superhero." What will become of the quirky cook and his business?