WATERVILLE — Bright blue paint and cheery lights greeted customers as they walked into The Last Unicorn restaurant on Silver Street at lunchtime on a recent afternoon.

“It’s really nice,” said Dennis Ratner, 66, of Waterville, as he enjoyed a cup of warm soup. “We eat here all the time. The waiting area is a good thing so that people don’t have to wait outside in the cold,” he added, referring to one of several new changes at the restaurant, which recently underwent renovations.

The Last Unicorn was closed for about 10 days last month as owners Fred and Amy Ouellette did most of the renovations themselves. It reopened Feb. 3.

“We just wanted to give it a little face lift, make it more warm and inviting,” Amy Ouellette said. “We’re excited about how it turned out. We’ve had a ton of compliments.”

In addition to the new waiting area, the restaurant has new furniture and artwork, a new bar area and new paint. Northeast Doran Inc., a Skowhegan contracting and energy company, also created two large carbon steel cutouts — one with an emblem of a unicorn and another with the restaurant’s name — to hang in each dining room.

While most of the renovations were done by the Ouellettes themselves, they also got help from contractor Jonathan Slack and Kitty Carlson, Amy Ouellette’s mother, who did most of the painting.

“My husband was there every day so I wasn’t always there myself, but I did a lot of the ordering,” Amy Ouellette said.

The Ouellettes took over ownership of the restaurant, a fixture since 1978 in downtown Waterville, in 2012 after then-owners Joe and Michelle Plumstead shut down because of the poor economy.

Fred Ouellette has worked at the restaurant since he was 19 years old, starting as a dishwasher before eventually becoming owner, his wife said.

“We are ecstatic about how everything turned out,” Amy Ouellette said. “I was a little worried mid-way through the week when I came in and saw all the walls ripped down and everything was torn apart, but Fred stayed late nights and we ended up pulling it off.”

Beth Booth, a waitress and bartender at The Last Unicorn, said the best part about the renovations is the new waiting area in the front of the restaurant.

“It’s great when we’re really busy,” she said. “Before it was hard because people would be crowding around the bar or around other tables who were trying to enjoy their meals. We’re loving it.”

Customers — many of them regulars — on Friday said they too were pleased with the restaurant’s new look.

“It is more spacious,” said Eric Thomas, 60, of Waterville, who said he eats lunch at The Last Unicorn probably about four times each week. “It’s hard to believe it’s the same size. It seems warmer.”

Ryan and Heidi Loubier and their daughter, Madalyn, were starting their lunch with a hot cheese dip in one of the restaurant’s new booth tables.

“It’s very nice. People should come check it out,” said Ryan Loubier, 38, of Winslow. “We also like that it’s locally owned.”

“The staff are really friendly, and the food is also really good,” said Heidi Loubier.

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368

[email protected]

Twitter: @rachel_ohm


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