Alex Markakis, owner of Cowbell Grill and Tap in Lewiston opened the restaurant in January. Sun Journal photo by Andree Kehn

LEWISTON — Nearly four months after Fuel restaurant on downtown Lisbon Street closed its doors last September, a specialty burger place has opened up in its place and has meat lovers in the Lewiston-Auburn area mooing . . . er . . . crowing about Cowbell.

Locals have fully embraced the newest burger spot in town, Cowbell Grill & Tap, with wait times sometimes approaching two hours, according to owner Alex Markakis.

“The community support of the Twin Cities has been tremendous,” he said.

“Word has traveled fast and I hope we keep winning over the hometown crowd because we really appreciate the way everything has taken off here. It looks like we have a lot of return customers even only being a month in.”

Despite occasional long wait times, customers can enjoy drinks or eat appetizers next door at Sidebar, said Markakis.

“Sidebar provides our customers with some finger foods and drinks so they can mingle over there while they wait to sit in the main dining area,” he said.

Cowbell’s menu is all about burgers, offering customers a whopping 25 burger combinations. Along with those are 25 craft brews on tap.

A Ring the Bell Burger is a Cowbell specialty: a 16-ounce burger topped with macaroni and cheese. Sun Journal photo by Andree Kehn

Customers can create their own burger by choosing the meat, toppings, cheese and kind of bread they want around the hamburger.

Burger choices include 8 ounces of steak, grass-fed beef, waygu, bison, salmon, chicken or turkey. There’s even a vegetarian burger on the menu for those seeking a plant-based alternative.

“Customers are really impressed with the waygu beef, it’s one of my favorites,” Markakis said. “It’s the juiciest and best tasting one for sure.”

Mouth watering yet?

According to Markakis, one of the most ordered menu items so far has been the Great Falls “Sunrise” Burger, named after the Lewiston-Auburn area, featuring a fried egg, bacon and avocado on your burger of choice.

Markakis said another customer favorite is the barbecue bacon burger, which is topped with cheddar cheese, applewood bacon and barbecue sauce.

The Great Falls “Sunrise” Burger is topped with bacon, avocado and a fried egg at the Cowbell Grill & Tap on Lisbon Street in Lewiston. Sun Journal photo by Andree Kehn

But in case you think Cowbell is a one-trick steer, some favored non-burger choices include street tacos and the “Yawkey Way” sausage, which is smothered with onions and peppers just like you can get at Fenway Park.

Another popular non-burger choice are rice bowls, offering white rice, shaved carrots, cucumbers, broccoli, and either chicken, steak or salmon.

One of the more unique items on the menu is the pizza burger — topped with pizza sauce, pepperoni and mozzarella cheese.

Adding to its varied food offerings, Cowbell hosts themed nights throughout the week (such as happy hour on Fridays just for teachers), live music on Friday and Saturday nights, and Sunday Funday drink specials.

Markakis hasn’t lived in Maine long, since 2015 to be exact, but he’s already getting used to “the way life should be.”

Street tacos and tater tots are served at Cowbell Grill & Tap in Lewiston . A Ring the Bell Burger is in the background. Sun Journal photo by Andree Kehn

“I’ve grown to appreciate Maine and the way of life here,” he said. “There are so many opportunities here and this community has been so great to us so far and I really enjoy giving back,” Markakis added, noting the restaurant sponsors a charity every month.

Although the restaurant had its soft opening in January, it will celebrate an official grand opening on Feb. 28 from 3 to 4 p.m. with a ribbon-cutting event with the Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce.

A steak rice bowl is one of the non-burger entrees on the menu at Cowbell Grill & Tap in Lewiston. Sun Journal photo by Andree Kehn

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