NORWAY — Norway’s local economy continues to creep further and further down Main Street, with yet another independent business opening this month. And, in what has become the norm, the offerings within 493 Main Street literally have a unique spin.

Jeff and Alyssa Baker of West Paris have opened a listening lounge just across from the Gingerbread House, a cozy, laid back bar called the Wook Nook.

Alyssa Murphy, left, with new baby Nesta, and Jeff Murphy have opened a listening lounge in Norway, the Wook Nook. Nicole Carter / Advertiser Democrat

In contemporary culture, a wook is a type of hippy, especially one drawn to a migratory music lifestyle. The couple first met 14 years ago as they traveled to music festivals with their respective friends, crossed paths (“I thought he was cute so I swatted him with a fly swatter,” Alyssa shared), and built their lives together.

Jeff and Alyssa settled down in Oxford Hills several years ago. At the beginning of 2023 and with a baby on the way, they sort of inverted their previous lifestyle to adapt it their new traditional status. Instead of following the music, they would make use of their expansive vinyl collection and build a business using their shared passion.

Norway seemed the natural choice, one that is paying off with locals already forming the Wook Nook’s customer base.

“We thought about Portland at one point,” Jeff said. “But I didn’t want to leave the area. It’s beautiful here, the people are beautiful. We’ve had unbelievable support from the other local businesses.”


Listening lounge the Wook Nook is Main Street Norway’s latest business, opening in October. Supplied photo

With the help of able friends, the Bakers spent most of this year renovating the buildings, which over decades housed filling stations, building contractors, markets and other businesses. The improvements and features they have added were largely salvaged from around the region, including the hickory bar tops and vintage wallpapered wainscoting lining the walls.

“Certain albums will play through really nicely,” said Jeff, who mans the turntable, albeit with the help of YouTube .”We have a fair amount of full-play albums. And I have playlists, I use the YouTube streaming algorithm to lead them to new sounds that you wouldn’t find in a record store.”

The sounds customers hear at the Wook Nook run the gamut from jazz to reggae, hip hop, jam bands, country, blues, “pretty much everything besides heavy metal and classical,” Alyssa said.

“We’re musically very open,” Jeff said. “And have acquired a lot of nice sound. So when people sit down here in a comfortable chair, they’re getting exposed to new music. It’s pretty cool to be able to be in a small town and find a big music collection.”

The Wook Nook features a full bar with draft beer, wine and signature cocktails. The menu is designed to support local growers, with dishes made in-house from scratch.

It is open Wednesday through Sunday, generally from 4 until 11 p.m., although with possible seasonal allowances as things get established. With Jeff operating the turntable, the kitchen is staffed with two employees, two runners/barbacks and one bartender/remodeler, Brandon Adams. Alyssa said her main job is floating with eight-week-old son Nesta on her hip.

“I think Norway is on an outward trajectory,” Jeff said. “There are a lot of new and interesting things that are going on here. To be a part of it, we’re flattered by how accepted we’ve been.”

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