New Buxton restaurant opens in old landmark

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Restaurateur Max Brody opens The Buxton Common in historic Mustard House.

Guy Frenette, chef at the recently opened The Buxton Common, shows the restaurant’s smokehouse.

Buxton residents Danielle Henry and Guy Frenette work in the restaurant’s kitchen.

BUXTON — A restaurateur with international experience has opened The Buxton Common in a makeover of the so-called Mustard House, a 228-year old landmark.

Max Brody opened the 74-seat casual restaurant June 22 at 1420 Long Plains Road (Route 22), at the intersection with Route 202. Brody said the restaurant gives the community a place to gather.

“We were really busy Friday and Saturday,” he said.

The Mustard House, built in 1790, most recently housed an antique shop. Brody retained mustard as the distinctive color of its clapboards.

“It was such a landmark,” Brody said of saving the historic site. “This is part of the community history.”

The restaurant is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 4:30-9 p.m. The bar is open until 10 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays and on Fridays and Saturdays is open until last call.

The restaurant will serve Sunday brunch and dinner “once we get settled in,” Brody said.

The menu includes a variety of entrees, burgers, sandwiches and snacks. “We’re making the menu affordable so people can come on a regular basis,” Brody said.

Applewood from Brackett’s Orchards in Limington is used in the restaurant’s smokehouse for beef brisket, pulled pork, sausage and whole chickens.

The Buxton Common offers full-service catering for off-site events; takeout service for call-in orders during regular business hours; and lunch delivery along the Route 22 strip and including Portland International Jetport and the Mercy Hospital facility in Gorham.

Brody, who lives in Portland, has been connected with restaurants since age 10. As a chef, he’s worked in Boston, New Orleans and worldwide. He previously owned a restaurant in Montague, Massachusetts.

The Buxton project has been in the works nearly a year. “We broke ground in late July of 2017,” Brody said.

The finished product features six areas for intimate dining in the restored main house. Aesthetics include preserved woodwork and floorboards and original wood beams overhead.

Replacing a razed ell, a new addition houses the kitchen and bar.

Brody manages 18 employees with the majority of them living in Buxton, Dayton, Hollis and Limington. He leaves the cooking to others. “My apron strings would have been too short,” he said, with a full staff to oversee.

Chef Guy Frenette, a Buxton resident, busily worked in the kitchen and checked the smokehouse Tuesday morning. A 25-year professional chef, Frenette likes the new equipment and said he’s excited to be part of the “vibes” of the new business.

“It’s fantastic for the town,” Frenette said.

Brody is there around the clock, Frenette said, and he described the quality of the project as amazing. “This guy (Brody) killed it,” Frenette said.

Danielle Henry of Buxton is the baker, creating breads, cakes, pies and pastries. A Bonny Eagle High School graduate in 2010 who studied culinary arts in college, Henry said The Buxton Common is what the town needs:”A cool, fun place to go.”

Last week when the restaurant opened, Henry said she met “neighbors I never met before.”

Asked about cost of the venture, Brody replied, “More than anticipated.”

Robert Lowell can be reached at 854-2577 or rlowell@keepmecurrent.com