Squirrel’s Nest owner Melissa Baker has brought the former location of Anctil’s Restaurant and Bar back to life.
ROUSES POINT — Walking into the Squirrel's Nest diner in Rouses Point is like stepping back in time.
It was here, in the former Anctil's Restaurant and Bar, that locals gathered for more than 60 years.
Melissa Baker, who was born and raised in Rouses Point, was one of those people.
She remembers going into Anctil’s as a child to get a soda, or an ice cream, or a plate of French fries.
“It’s hard, because you remember what it used to be,” Baker said. “Anctil’s was always here.”
Baker worked at Wyeth for almost 40 years until she retired in January 2009.
She and her husband, Rouses Point Mayor Francis “Bumper” Baker, run a self-storage facility and a bar next to Barcomb’s Marina called the Last Resort.
After she retired, Baker decided to bring Anctil’s back to life, and is now the owner of The Squirrel’s Nest.
“To see Anctil's all dark and closed down; it was heartbreaking,” Baker said. “Now the lights are on and it’s warm in here. I can feel its heart beating again.”
Old photographs of Anctil's hang on the walls in The Squirrel's Nest, and the eatery still has that old-fashioned diner feel with its long counter and matching stools.
“It was such a thriving restaurant and bar,” Baker said. “I want to send people down memory lane every time they walk in here.”
She also wants to give them a good deal, which is why she said the prices are low and the portions are big.
Three-egg omelettes, served with toast and home fries, start at $5.25, and fish and chips, served with fries and tartar sauce, is $7.95.
The food is made fresh, too.
“Our burgers are never frozen,” Baker said. “We slice all of our turkey breast ourselves, and we do pork roasts.”
Besides the main dining area, there is an adjoining room that contains a bar, which will open as soon as Baker receives her liquor license.
In addition to drinks, there will be a limited menu offered on that side of the establishment.
In the meantime, there is plenty of home-cooked diner food available at The Squirrel’s Nest.
“The reception so far has been great,” Baker said. “I'm sure will get more tourists in the summer, but we're really here for the locals.”
Senior citizens get a 10 percent discount off their meals the first Wednesday of every month, and there is a perch lunch every Friday.
For more information on daily specials, visit The Squirrel’s Nest’s Facebook page at facebook.com/pages/The-Squirrels-Nest/160432450773252