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Justice Barnes Justice Barnes
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Live music, cars and ice cream, oh my

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For those of us who live in the Down East or the Mid-Coast region of Maine, there are two seasons: winter and Jordan's season. Trust me. Even more than the appearance of tulips and daffodils, nothing says spring is coming like the countdown to the annual re-opening of Jordan's Snack Bar in Ellsworth (200 Downeast Highway).

I have had the pleasure of chowing down many an ice cream or fried scallop there, but until recently I've never experienced the Wednesday night Cruise-In. Last week the planets aligned and I was able witness a now decades-old tradition of live country music and a parking lot full of antique and unique cars.

Now let me tell you, I am a car girl. I am also a food girl, so imagine my delight. I arrived to find at least 25 couples dancing on a covered, open air dance floor to a cover of the old standard "Tennessee Waltz." As I stood mesmerized, the music switched to a more rambunctious two step. (I'm guessing, as I am not exactly a country dancing aficionado.) Everywhere I looked people were eating or dancing. Or in my case eating AND dancing - I'm just that good. For those more inclined to watch, there was plenty of chair and picnic table seating.

And if that wasn't enough free fun for you, a few feet beyond the dance floor was an assortment of cars. Not just any cars: big, old, gas guzzling American classics. Heavenly. A red 1968 Ford Mustang nearly put my son into a trance while I had a brief, albeit meaningful, romance with a 1968 Chevy Camaro.

Fickle by nature, my attentions and affections were soon focused on a white 1953 Ford Sunliner, whose gold upholstery flirted shamelessly with me. The owner of this white and gold vixen, Fernald Leach of Blue Hill, was kind enough to speak with me and show me pictures of the restoration process. When Leach obtained this replica pace car, it had been living upside down in a junk yard and was rusted out and roofless. Leach and his wife Rachel have been coming to Jordan's Cruise-In for nearly 10 years. When asked of the appeal of this venue, he said "the food" while his wife, Rachel, simultaneously replied "the music." Classic!

I also had the pleasure of speaking with Wayne Murch of Franklin, who is one of the original participants of the weekly event. He proudly showed me his 1951 Lincoln and spoke of dearly departed fellow car showers and Cruise-Ins gone by. There was also a replica 1965 Ford Cobra owned by Brad Carter of Hancock, a 1973 Rolls Royce and wooden framed 1923 Ford. I was giddy.

To top it all off, Jordan's has a full game room, arcade and playground for the kids. Even better than that, they have cherry dip. That's right, cherry dip for my chocolate soft serve. With fried seafood, banana splits and quick take out window service, it is no wonder that this family owned and operated business just celebrated their 30th anniversary and has become a cultural landmark.

For more info, visit, the Facebook or give them a call at (207)667-2174.

Last modified on Wednesday, 14 December 2011 13:45


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