Charlotte Gill, who grew up in Southwest Harbor before leaving after high school graduation, returned to the island a few years back. For the past several years, she has run the business on Seawall Road. At first, it was called “Sawyer’s Lobster Pound,” named after a former beau. When the relationship broke up, Gill renamed the place after herself, which she says she should have done in the beginning.
Gill is proud of the food, and she should be. She loves her employees and credits them often. But she also admits that her energetic style and constant interactions with guests are part of the Charlotte’s experience. A stop at Charlotte’s can turn into an adventure that shouldn’t be rushed. Many visitors quickly come to understand that.
“They don’t leave,” Gill said. “Six hours later, and they’re still here. Or they come back every single day of their vacation.”
The building that houses Charlotte’s is small, and after its transformation it looks like a 1950s-era diner or A&W hot dog stand. That was intentional, Gill said.
“I’ve always loved the ’50s, because I think that’s kind of the end of that era of innocence and nuclear families and all of that,” she said. “So I started playing the ’50s music … and then I started adding the features.