HALLOWELL — Leah Sampson said she struck gold with her purchase of the Maine House in Hallowell. Sampson and business partner Geoff Houghton are re-launching the craft cocktail bar with a “gold party” on New Year’s Eve.

Sampson said she was talking with friends about a theme and decided on gold.

“A lot of people are going to be wearing gold,” she said. “We are pretty psyched.”

The new Maine House opens its doors at 3 p.m. Thursday and Sampson expects the party to continue well past midnight. The bar’s normal hours will be 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

The establishment was opened in July 2014 by Deanna Thibeau and her mother, Coby. A life change for Deanna led her to Florida with her boyfriend, so the place was put up for sale at the end of November.

The response, the Thibeaus said, was overwhelming, and Coby said it was important that the new owners be willing to keep the Maine House as it was.

Sampson, a longtime friend of Deanna, is well-known in Hallowell from her time working as a bartender at Slates, just a few doors down on Water Street. She is excited to bring her unique craft cocktail creations to the Maine House.

“Cocktails take up so much of my brain, and I drive around and wonder what can go into a drink,” Sampson said. “Deanna did such a great job, but I am so excited to show people what I can do.”

One of the cocktails Sampson is planning to introduce is a lavender Sazerac made with lavender sugar cubes, lavender syrup, chartreuse, bourbon and lemon.

“It’s just cool to bring back classic cocktails and twist them up and broaden people’s horizons,” said Sampson, who watches cocktail competitions while constantly thinking of the next idea for a drink.

In addition to small food offerings and a mix of cocktails and locally brewed beer, the party will feature live entertainment by Ed DesJardins and Roger Sampson, a well-known local musician who also happens to be Leah’s father.

“It’s a dream come true,” Leah said, referring to having her father perform on opening night. “(My parents) are so excited, and I’m just lucky my dad didn’t have another gig that night.” Leah said her father told her that he didn’t want to be paid, but Leah said she insisted and will compensate her father.

The sale became official last week. Sampson said there were some minor complications about the building, but those will be alleviated because Houghton is buying it.

Houghton, a local restaurateur, owns the neighboring Liberal Cup, the Governor Hill Mansion banquet hall in Augusta and a brew pub in Saco. He’ll be involved in the business operations of the Maine House, but Sampson will handle the day-to-day business at the bar.

The Maine House, located at 119 Water St., opens at 3 p.m. and serves small plates, craft cocktails and Maine-brewed draft beer.

Jason Pafundi — 621-5663

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Twitter: @jasonpafundiKJ