Construction underway on Luke's Lobster Portland location
PORTLAND (WGME) -- A Maine native is bringing his global restaurant business to Portland.
You could say the Maine fishing industry is in Luke Holden's DNA.
"I'm from a fishing family," Holden says, "I grew up on the docks just to the right of me."
So it made sense when he decided to follow in his family's footsteps, going from investment banking in New York City to opening a lobster shack in the East Village.
"I was missing home so I went online looking for something that reminded me of home and that was a lobster roll and there were no high quality affordable Maine style lobster rolls anywhere in Manhattan," says Holden.
Luke's Lobster quickly took off across the country and the world, not only because of the food, but because of their mission.
"At Luke's we're about serving the best quality seafood," Holden says, "We have complete control of the supply chain, so we work directly with fishermen, have our own seafood company and ship directly to our own restaurants."
Their next restaurant will be at 60 Portland Pier.
"The first thing we did was get the buy station up and going this summer, the condo that we're retrofitting into a shack, is right now just a complete construction site," says Holden.
Once renovations are complete, the year-round spot will have indoor and outdoor seating for a total of about 200 customers, featuring seafood supplied by local fishermen like Steve Train.
"I think this is the type of development fishermen need on the waterfront," Train says, "Somebody that's working with them and selling their products here and someone that has the vested interest in us maintaining our access and maintaining our berths."
The project includes big improvements to the wharf, which has been completely updated with new pilings, decking and floats.
"Anytime we're not worried about falling through the wharf, I think we're feeling a lot better about things," says Train, "And this wharf looks like it's in the best shape that I can remember in my lifetime."
"We look to create those win-wins," adds Holden, "So Portland Pier in many ways helps us to continue on that quest of just building a better business."
Holden hopes to have the Portland restaurant open by this summer.