A longtime Hallowell music venue and dive bar is moving to downtown Augusta.
The HydeOut at The Wharf, a Hallowell mainstay for 40 years, needed to move from its current location because the bar could not get a long-term lease once the building was listed for sale, owner Wayne Hyde told Spectrum News Maine in November.
Since then, he’s looked at 17 possible venues before settling on 71 Water St. in Augusta.
“A lot of people love The Wharf but they don’t want it in their house,” he said.
The bar — known for live local music — will occupy the street-level floor of the building, something welcomed as good news by the executive director of the Augusta Downtown Alliance.
“I think it’s fantastic,” said Michael Hall. “It’s going to breathe some life into that end of town.”
While downtown Augusta has seen new businesses and bars move in in recent years, the north end of Water Street still has a few vacant, boarded-up buildings. The building The Wharf will occupy was most recently the home of the local Eagles Club, which is currently looking for a new location, Hyde said.
Hyde said he has a four-year lease and that his new landlord is busy making improvements. He hopes to open around April 1. He said the new location is “30 feet higher in the air” than the current bar — which is prone to seasonal flooding of the Kennebec River — and offers a lot more space for dancing.
The final show in Hallowell is set for March 26 with Tommy O’Connell and the Juke Joint Devils.