Yamas has officially relocated from Old Town to Mill Street in Orono, occupying the space that formerly housed The Roost. They officially opened their doors at their new location on Saturday, Dec. 28, only three months after the closing of the original location at Main Street in Old Town, due to the damages brought on by a structure fire.
The fire started in a neighboring apartment building on Sept. 22, 2019, and left seven people displaced with no reported injuries, according to the Bangor Daily News. As a result, Yamas restaurant suffered significant water and smoke damage, enough to close the location permanently. After several months of remodeling the former location of The Roost, the new Yamas is open for business and happy to bring the taste and feel of its former location to old and new customers from both Old Town and Orono.
According to co-owner Alexandra Rondo, the move to Mill Street in Orono was in the works as early as June 2019, three months prior to the fire.
“This was meant to be a second location, but it just had to open sooner than planned due to the fire,” Rondo said. “It left most of our staff unemployed, so it was important that we open this new location as soon as possible.”
With this being said, there is still hope for Old Town residents, as Rondo predicts that Yamas will try to reopen in Old Town sometime in 2021.
“The transition has been a very easy process for everyone,” Rondo said.
The new location features a bigger kitchen and a single-floor layout, which makes it a more accessible layout for the staff compared to the Old Town location. Yamas frequenters will be pleasantly surprised to find that the once in-the-works bar is now fully redone, featuring warm lighting, new carpeting and plenty of comfortable seating that is similar to the look and style of the Old Town location. The restaurant also features a large wrap-around bar to the right of the downstairs entry.
For those who may be unfamiliar with Yamas, it is a family-friendly restaurant that features a wide array of dinner and drink options. Their food consists of unique Italian, Greek and American dishes to make for an all-inclusive dining experience. Yamas also offers a variety of dinner specials, along with dinner and drink combination deals that all change throughout the week. Currently, they are open daily from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m.
While they are unable to host formal events given that they are only a one-floor restaurant, Yamas is expected to host various events, including an open mic night, baby showers and wedding rehearsals. Though it’s a change from the traditional bar scene that UMaine students might have been expecting, Yamas is working to bridge the divide between Orono and Old Town, and is excited to cater to residents of both towns and UMaine students.