Yesterday was a big day for Becky Marcos and Wayne Bartlett. The pair opened the Lighthouse Variety & Deli at 51 Harpswell Road, formerly the site of the Brunswick Variety Deli. Within blocks of Harpswell Apartments and the Schwartz Outdoor Leadership Center, the deli is one of the few commercial enterprises bordering campus.

Since purchasing the deli this summer, Marcos and Bartlett have cleaned the place up—Marcos said she swears you could eat off the floors. 

The duo said that they envision the Lighthouse Deli as a fun and convenient place for Bowdoin students. The Deli is merely minutes from campus and Marcos and Bartlett’s home, and is the realization of a 30-year dream. 

The Deli will carry groceries and snacks and offer a menu of hot food including pizza, burgers and Mexican and Chinese food. 

The owners are working on the paperwork that will allow them to accept OneCards in an effort to become more accessible to Bowdoin students. 

Right now, the Deli has three tables with four seats each, and this winter Marcos and Bartlett plan on adding a window bar for additional seating. 

“I want this to be a fun place to be,” said Marcos.

Hallie Carol ’14, who lives across from the new deli in an off-campus house on Mclellan Street, said that she has been looking forward to the deli opening.

“We’re all really excited in the house,” she said. “They have everything you could ever need, from beer to sandwiches to Oreos. Now we don’t have to drive somewhere else to get these things.”

Carol said that she went to the Deli on Thursday, right after it opened, and that Marcos and Bartlett were working behind the counter.

“They were super friendly,” she said. “I walked in and was introduced to the owners. It’s nice to be on a first-name basis with local stores.”

Marcos previously worked as a bursar at Phillips Academy Andover and says she is looking forward to being around students again.

 For the next few months, Marcos will be running the Deli as Bartlett works on his landscaping business. However, during the winter months, he will join her behind the counter and in the kitchen.

In 2011, under previous ownership, the store was burglarized. Marcos and Bartlett have installed new locks and security systems to protect the place, but said that they recognize there are only so many preventative actions they can take. 

None the less, the couple emphasized their focus is cooking convenient and homeade food and creating the best atmosphere that they can for college students and local residents alike. 

“I want everyone to enjoy coming in and hanging—and I’ve got a beautiful bathroom for the ladies,” said Marcos.

Carol said that she believes the Deli’s close proximity to campus will make it more attractive to students. 

“I think it’s going to be  nice that it’s so close to campus and has really friendly owners,” she said.
The Lighthouse Deli will also include a mural paying homage to the evolution of workers in Maine. According to the Brunswick Times Record, it was painted by Marcos’ aunt, Anne Haley. 

The work is based on a piece that was removed by Governor Paul LePage from the Department of Labor building amongst protests claiming that the work was one-sided for only depicting union workers. Though the Deli’s inclusion of this mural has attracted attention from local news sources, Marcos and Bartlett said that they never meant to attract controversy.
Their version shows Maine workers as the people that they see and work with every day—the “quintessential Maine worker.”