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Harvest Moon rises over Bangor

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Orono deli opening second location

BANGOR There's a new sandwich coming to downtown Bangor.

Harvest Moon Deli has been in operation in Orono for about seven years. Soon, a second location on Columbia Street in Bangor will open, bringing the same high-quality sandwiches that Orono has enjoyed for so long to the Queen City.

'I've wanted to do a second Harvest Moon for four or five years now,' said owner Keith Manaker. 'I looked all over the state for new spots; I checked out Waterville, Ellsworth, Belfast. Then it occurred to me that I was overlooking my own backyard. I guess I was hesitant about Bangor only because there are [already] some great sandwiches here in town.

'I think there's room for one more,' Manaker continued. 'We just hope that we can be complementary rather than competitive. In the end, dining brings in dining.'

Bringing this new location to life has been a lot of hard work in a short amount of time.

'We definitely learned a lot from [the process of] opening the Orono deli,' he said. 'We got the set-up the way we wanted it; it's really exciting starting up from a more comfortable place.'

But while the search for the ideal locale took a long time, Manaker and his team hit the ground running when they landed in the right spot. The signing of the lease for the Columbia Street location took place right around the first of March. Here we are a scant three months later and Harvest Moon is just about ready to open for business.

Harvest Moon has long been known for the quality of its sandwiches, as well as the music-related themes that permeate throughout. From the dcor (paintings and posters featuring musicians) to the menu (the house specialty sandwiches all bear the names of music icons), the deli has been all about the musical tie-in since its inception. The Bangor location reflects that.

However, while there's no denying the connection between the two locations, the Bangor Harvest Moon has at least one offering that its Orono companion does not, an offering that downtown diners will likely find most appealing a high-end per-pound salad bar.

Of course, Harvest Moon is all about the sandwiches. Whether you're looking at a Bobby Zimmerman turkey, bacon, Swiss cheese and spinach with avocado ranch dressing or a Paul McCartney roast beef, provolone cheese, tomato and onion with spicy homemade horseradish you'll find an offering that appeals to just about any palate on their menu. And if none of the 'name' sandwiches tickles your fancy, just call your own tune and build your own.

But the nature of Harvest Moon's food philosophy does mean that this isn't necessarily an in-and-out kind of spot. Their sandwiches take some time to prepare as long as 15 minutes when the deli is extremely busy.

'The nature of our sandwiches means that they take a little longer to prepare,' Manaker said. 'If you're in a rush, you might want to call ahead.'

Manaker is also planning to add some new dimensions to the Harvest Moon model. They will be providing delivery service to the downtown area basically, if you're within walking or biking distance, they'll bring you a sandwich. And he's also thinking about possible menu expansions in the future.

'We're maybe going to try to branch out a bit [with our offerings],' he said. 'It'll be the same price point, just some different stuff.'

In truth, you can never have too many good sandwich options, so Harvest Moon will likely prove to be a welcome addition to the burgeoning downtown dining scene. So swing by the deli and try a B.B. King or a Janis Joplin or even a Taj Mahal you'll be glad you did.

(Harvest Moon's Bangor hours are 10-7 Monday through Saturday and 10-3 on Sunday. You can find out more on the Harvest Moon Deli Bangor Facebook page or by visiting harvestmoondeli.com.)

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