I suppose almost every town has a favorite meeting place, a bar or restaurant that attracts locals wanting to meet up with friends, watch a game, or grab a bite to eat. The “Cheers-like” atmosphere is not exclusive to Boston. Ruby’s Wood Grill is exactly that type of place, where just about everybody knows your name.
Ruby’s Wood Grill is located on Route 1 in York Maine. Established in 1998 by Carl Brown and Scott Coughlin, Ruby’s cuisine is an interesting mix of brick oven pizza, pasta, an emphasis on “sizzlin’ grilled entrees, and popular Mexican fare. Ask any of the crowd what their favorite dish is and you will get a variety of answers, which to my way of thinking is a testament to good food all around.
To get right down to it, the menu is affordable and offers a wide selection to suit the taste of just about anyone. Of course kids of all ages love pizza, and the brick oven pizzas are a huge favorite. For an appetizer try the smoked ribs or the baked artichoke and crab dip. Ruby’s Pasta from Hell is a must for the pasta aficionado. Other dishes include (but are not limited to) sizzlin’ steak or veggie fajitas, grilled steak tips with Ruby’s own marinade, salads of all kinds, and a barbeque platter of ribs, hot wings, pulled pork, baked beans and cole slaw. Rumor has it that a burger concoction called “The Big Jimmy” was created for a local guy with a healthy appetite. Yes, I said healthy with a capital “H”. Two 8oz. burgers served as you like it, or just plain loaded, and topped off with mounds of caramelized onions.
The atmosphere at Ruby’s is as varied as the menu and the clientele. The main dining room offers an open kitchen concept for comfortable family dining, and children are welcome. The pub to the left of the main entrance is English style and boasts one of the largest selections of draft beers in the area. The younger crowd and dedicated sports fans of all ages seems to gravitate toward the decks of Ruby’s. With a seasonal open air deck, one can dine outside on a balmy summer day, or simply sit back and enjoy a cocktail while listening to a favorite local band. The sports bar is an enclosed year round deck area with a spacious dining and bar area. The seven televisions and high def big screen are always tuned to sports events, so there is no danger of missing a favorite game.
Ruby’s is not only well known for its friendly atmosphere, great food, and attentive staff, but the restaurant also sponsors several sports teams in the seacoast area. Manager Aaron Hill will point to the many trophies garnered over the years, the most recent being the Hampton Recreation Association’s Division B Championship Fall Ball trophy. This championship was especially sweet I imagine, as his team players, after close to ten years in the leagues, are not exactly “The New Kids on the Block.”
The pride and excitement in his voice is evident when Aaron speaks about his teams, but the tone turns more serious when discussing the importance of giving back to the community. Aaron manages the donations of food, gift cards, and time for such worthwhile causes as the Wells Breast Cancer Shoot-a-thon, the town library summertime reader program, alcohol and drug rehab fundraisers, Ethel’s Tree of Life, and for the last 5 years the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. With Aaron’s help, Ruby’s has become a valuable contributor to the community, and giving back is very much a part of its all around success.
Ruby’s is typical in small town familiarity yet welcoming to visitors from across the country. It is good food and drink in generous portions, and good down to earth company. Maybe everyone won’t know your name the first time you stop in, but they probably will the next time.
Oh, and if you’re expecting to see a “Norn”, or a “Cliff”, or even a “Sam”…just sit back and wait. They’ll be in.
Source: Aaron Hill