555 North Buffet table with fireplace behind it.

A Sophisticated and Unique Restaurant Renovation in Brunswick

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When Hardypond completed the renovations at The Federal Hotel in Brunswick last year, we were particularly excited about the design choices in the restaurant and eager to see what culinary vision would imbue the space with flavor. Our mouths started to water when we learned that Steve Corry, the award-winning chef of 555 Portland, and his wife Michelle were the team bringing their culinary philosophy to The Federal’s restaurant as 555northWith the summer season gearing up, it seems like the perfect time to revisit the great work the Hardypond team did to create a modern, sophisticated, and unique restaurant space in a historic hotel.


555 dining table with muralOriginally, the restaurant area had an enclosed porch and a disjointed layout with three different types of flooring and mismatched windows. From the floors to the ceilings, Hardypond redid every surface in the restaurant. Working with a designer, Hardypond was able to open the space up to create more room for tables and unify the design details so it felt cohesive and intentional. Custom planters were built into the walls to bring in greenery and bright, natural light. A huge new bar with seating was added in the main section and a private dining area was created for small events. With large glass doors that both let in light and create privacy, a beautiful mural of native Maine plants, and a giant banquet table as well as a custom sound system, the space is perfect for private events such as rehearsal dinners, graduation parties, and board meetings. 


“I recently hosted an event there with the Girl Scouts of Maine and people raved,” shares Hardypond President Deirdre Wadsworth. “It was early evening and the light was beautiful. We had a fire going and everyone enjoyed the great drinks and hors d’oeuvres served by their great staff.”


Updates were made in both the front and back of the house so the restaurant could function at the highest level. Creating a better workflow for the staff was one such consideration, and Hardypond added multiple stations for the staff to place orders and spent time considering the layout of the space. The kitchen received a deep-clean and inspection of all the appliances, and important updates were made to the HVAC and fire suppression systems. In addition, a baking nook was added with enough space for new baking equipment, a prep area, and storage.


555 North long tables for large groups.

As with any project, challenges came up and the Hardypond team rose to meet them, whether they were small details or large structural elements. For example, the enclosed porch’s multiple flooring types were covered with a nice, modern epoxy. This material required an abundance of attention to ensure it was level. “A lot of time went into making sure that floor was flat,” shares Wadsworth. Also, the beautiful glass and steel doors that were added to help divide the private dining space while letting in light were incredibly heavy and needed major structural support. The Hardypond team opened up the walls to add in a giant beam to hold up the doors. The new bar was another area where details and nuance were at play to ensure that the new tap lines worked properly and the giant glass and steel shelf unit was stable.


Collaborating with a designer was a fun aspect of the project as she brought in artists as well as specialty metal subcontractors to help create a special space that felt one-of-a-kind. With an ambiance that is both contemporary and warm and a seasonal menu that showcases locally sourced ingredients, 555north is a wonderful addition to Brunswick and a place Hardypond is honored to have had a hand in creating. It’s a restaurant we look forward to supporting!

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