A lobster dinner is a much-anticipated part of the Maine experience for vacationers. When touring by automobile became popular, small roadside eateries lured travelers with lobster holding tanks, outdoor cookers, a few picnic tables, and a “lobster pound” sign. Diners could choose their lobster, watch it being cooked, learn how to pick it apart, and enjoy a finger-licking feast within sight of the sea.
The Lobster Pound Restaurant in Lincolnville Beach began in 1926 as a shanty with an outdoor cooker. Indoor dining became an option about 1940. The restaurant closed during World War II but has operated continuously since reopening in the late 1940s. At the back of the parking lot in the photo is the Lobster Trap Gift Shop, a true “tourist trap.” It sold souvenirs in a disguised quonset hut until it was washed out to sea in 1985 by Hurricane Gloria. When the restaurant was rebuilt after a fire in the 1980s, the lobster tanks and cooking equipment were moved indoors. The Lobster Pound still serves lobster purchased from Lincolnville fishermen whose boats are just outside the restaurant windows.