Members of the Old South Youth Group, wearing masks and gloves, prepare to serve food. Submitted photo

Rev. Marraine Kettell places an order at the window. Submitted photo

Youth Group member Clayton McCarthy places a dinner order on the pick-up table. Submitted photo

Youth Group member Ethan McIntosh prepares to fill an order. Submitted photo

Diners prepare to order meals. Submitted photo

FARMINGTON — “I’ll try the chicken pot pie, and a brownie,” the woman says, standing at the order window of the TuesdayNight Supper Club. “And this is really free?” It’s 5:20 p.m., and the pace is picking up at the Tuesday Night Supper Club, a free new take-out dining experience in Farmington. A project of the youth group of Old South First Congregational Church, UCC, the Tuesday Night Supper Club offers a menu of entrées, sides, and desserts. Patrons order at a window on the front porch of the church’s Holman Mission House, a big white Victorian home on Main Street, then walk to around to a side door where their order is placed on a table for pick-up.

“The Old South Church youth have done it again!,” remarks Rev. Marraine Kettell. “The Tuesday Night Supper Club is a meal program appropriate for our times. And the food is superb!”

“We know that there is a significant amount of food insecurity in Franklin County right now,” adds youth director Jodie Gunther. “We wanted to offer a free, healthy take-out dinner—with a fun twist. The Tuesday Night Supper Club is a way the youth group can help.”

The Tuesday Night Supper Club was inspired by the classic supper clubs of the 1940s and 50s. A large art deco menu board by the front window offers entrées like “Mac’s Impasta” macaroni-and-sausage dish,

“Tater Vic’s” potatoes roasted with garlic, and “blondies” bar cookies. Menu items vary week by week and always include one vegetarian option. Diners choose one entrée, two or three side dishes, and a dessert.

Picking up on the supper club vibe, jazz music plays over speakers and movie-star cut-outs wave through the windows.

Understanding the concerns about the spread of COVID-19, the project was designed carefully to ensure the safety of patrons as well as youth group members. Diners place their order at a window at the front of the building, with the pane of glass for protection between people. All food is prepped, cooked, and packaged on site. Masks and gloves are worn at all times by the youth group. In addition, the number of youth group participants inside the large house is kept within Maine CDC guidelines.

The concept for the dinner was formed after the pandemic forced the youth group to cancel its popular Pancakery Cafe, a free biweekly brunch served on Sunday mornings. The Pancakery Cafe had been serving 60 to 70 people regularly. “We are able to use some of the kitchen equipment and supplies from the Pancakery Cafe,” explains Gunther. “That helps to keep our costs down.”

A Grand Opening is planned for May 19. The Tuesday Night Supper Club serves food from 5 to 6 p.m., each Tuesday, at 235 Main Street in Farmington. Each week, the menu is posted on the Old South First Congregational Church Facebook page.

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