‘Dudley’s Refresher’ opening in dockside spot

At Dudley’s Refresher, Michael Rossney and Michele Levesque will fried clams, lobster rolls, burgers ice cream and other traditional summer fare. But the couple also will tuck in beer-battered fish tacos and other popular dishes on the menu at El El Frijoles. COURTESY PHOTO

Things didn’t end well for Dudley Saltonstall, an American naval commander during the Revolutionary War who later went on to become a trader.

In 1779, when British forces established a base on the Penobscot Bay near Castine, Saltonstall led a fleet of ships against them, almost all of which were destroyed.

While Saltonstall eventually found success as a privateer, he reportedly died of tropical fever in the West Indies in 1796.

It’s with an eye to that local history that Michael Rossney and Michele Levesque are naming their new eatery here Dudley’s Refresher.

Dudley’s is replacing the Breeze, a snack bar that operated on the town dock for many years.

Rossney and Levesque, owners of El El Frijoles taqueria in Sargentville, won the lease to the town-owned property after officials called for proposals from area restaurateurs.

To refresh the Castine summer crowd — and pay tribute to this coastal town’s rich, colorful history — Levesque and Rossney aim to reinterpret the iconic Maine clam shack.

Their plan is to prepare local ingredients in the style that’s made El El Frijoles one of the Blue Hill Peninsula’s more popular eateries. They’ll serve classics — fried clams, lobster rolls, burgers, fries, ice cream — as well as daily specials and dishes borrowing from the El El Frijoles repertoire, such as beer-battered fish tacos.

Their ingredients include Mortons Moo ice cream and oysters harvested in the Bagaduce River by Little Island Oyster Co. in Sedgwick.

Somewhere, Dudley Saltonstall’s mouth is watering.

Charles Eichacker covers the towns of Bucksport, Orland, Castine, Verona Island, Penobscot, Brooksville and Dedham. When not working on stories, he likes books, beer and the outdoors. [email protected]