Lord’s Castle: A Tale of Two Restaurants

How the Dame Owners Decorated Their New Restaurant, Lord’s Castle

“There was a line of dames that snaked through the place,” explains Paul Pritchard, one of the owners of Lord’s Castle, the elegant restaurant that opened in May 2017 in Portland, Maine. “And it was like, ‘I’d like one of those.’”

It’s a line from a joke, but Lord’s Castle’s decor is anything but humorous. It’s the antithesis of the stereotypical, traditional, and sometimes bland restaurant decor—an eclectic mix of the unexpected, like the old brick walls and black-and-white photographs that hang over the bar or the bright yellow and mustard yellow tables and chairs. In the dining room, the walls are adorned with framed snapshots of Lord’s Castle owners and employees; many of the photos are of men and women who appear to have spent time together.

And there are more than a handful of women on staff, which is odd given their predominance in the restaurant industry. Yet Lord’s Castle is not only the first female-owned restaurant to open in Maine but also the first to be located in Portland. And while Pritchard acknowledges that he “got lucky,” as he puts it, the idea that was formed in that moment was a “little bit of luck, but mainly God.”

Lord’s Castle, a destination restaurant serving modern European cuisine, was created specifically to serve Pritchard’s personal philosophy that the best ingredients should take center stage at the kitchen table. He hired Pritchard in 2014 from the restaurant group he co-own with wife, Susan, on a recommendation from a mutual friend. But the Lord’s Castle project was more than personal preference or taste—it was also a response to the challenges of owning both a restaurant and a high-end hotel, an idea he had come up with the summer before. Before his previous group, Pritchard worked in the hotel industry, so he was used to working in hotels—not restaurants. But he was curious about what made

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