O.Dans preps for expansion into Standish

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Dan Ellingwood, center, shares some of his best-selling meals with regular customers and members of his staff at his Sebago restaurant. Ellingwood, along with his staff and his business partner, Jim Yates, left, is opening a new restaurant in Standish. 

O.Dans Restaurant of Sebago is bringing its locally sourced, fresh meals to Standish.

A new location is expected to open as early as this month, according to Dan Ellingwood, chef and owner of O.Dans.

The Standish location will be at 1 Ossipee Trail East, the former location of the Main Street Grill. The grill moved in September to 450 Northeast Road, at the intersection of Routes 114 and 35.

The new location will be called “O.Dans Public House.” The menu will be similar to the Sebago location, Ellingwood said, with “as much local as we can get.”

The Sebago restaurant has been operating for roughly two years, he said.

Ellingwood, a New Hampshire native, has made a career of cooking at restaurants across the country. The new restaurant will stay true to his style of “New England ingredients, New England dishes and French technique,” he said.

He operates the restaurant with his mother, sister, niece and childhood best friend. “We’re a small, family-owned place,” he said.

The farm-to-table menu includes fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, fried green tomato salad, sandwiches and other upscale comfort food.

The location in Sebago has live music five nights per week, and the tradition will continue at the Standish location.

The building is being completely renovated, Ellingwood said. It will seat 120 people and will have a full bar. The restaurant will look to hire between 20 and 25 full- and part-time staff people, he said.

In choosing the new location, Ellingwood said, he jumped on the “opportunity to move to the center of our area. Standish is looking for place for people to come together to meet and join, and that’s what we want the Public House to be.”

Jim Yates, Standish resident and one of Ellingwood’s business partners, said at the Sebago location, Ellingwood creates an atmosphere like the iconic Cheers bar on TV, “where everybody knows your name.”

Yates, who has lived in Standish for two decades, is working to renovate and remodel the interior of the building. The town “needs something like this,” he said, and residents are excited about having the new restaurant in town.

Standish Town Manager Gordy Billington agrees.

“We are thrilled to see this prime location filled again,” he said, adding that “the town can use more restaurant opportunities.”

Dan Ellingwood, center, shares some of his best-selling meals with regular customers and members of his staff at his Sebago restaurant. Ellingwood, along with his staff and his business partner, Jim Yates, left, is opening a new restaurant in Standish.