Mac’s Market Provincetown
Mac’s debuts in Provincetown!
“We opened in late June,” says Mac’s Assistant General Manager Becky Gomes, “just in time for The Blessing of the Fleet.” One month later, this sleek market was pulsing with activity just moments before the shop’s 7 pm closing time. Lobsters and steamers to go, shellfish and finfish, but that’s just the tip of the you-know-what.
For the uninitiated, the Mac’s empire includes Mac’s Shack, a full-service restaurant; and Mac’s on the Pier take-out, both in Wellfleet; plus fish markets in Eastham, Truro and Wellfleet. This time around they’ve cast a wider net to satisfy any omnivore’s request. Assorted naturally-raised meats, including beef, pork, sausages, lamb and chicken, are antibiotic and hormone free. An adjacent case contains prepared salads, and there’s a selection of produce nearby. The shelves are piled, top to bottom, with choice condiments, rubs, oils, sauces and snacks. Panko, pastas, polenta and more lovely ingredients will tempt the chef in you.
Cool Mac’s logo garb stocks the rear shelves, and hot chowders and soups await ladling at the front of the shop. The coolers have chilled drinks and Connie’s Bakery treats to top-off your picnic baskets.
Wait! Even more Mac’s to come?
Peek through the gleaming porthole on the wall and watch the rehab of the building at the site of the former Clem and Ursie’s on Shankpainter road.
Like the talented trio that leads the Mac brand, brothers Mac and Alex Hay and their cousin Sam Bradford, this project has three components: the market, a traditional full-service restaurant with a big raw bar and lounge at the center of the complex, and a window service eatery (including ice cream!), all enclosed by front and rear patios.
Although the market is in full swing, right now there is no set date for when the restaurant will open. “It will open when it’s ready,” says Mac. Every aspect of the building has been renovated. “In retrospect, it probably would have been easier to tear the existing structure down and start fresh, but it’s been exciting to do this rehabilitation,” he says.
Once open, the restaurant will have 260 seats including the outdoor patios. Team Mac is aiming for a similar vibe to Mac’s Shack: a welcoming atmosphere with great service and great food in a casual environment. To quote Mac, “A place where a group coming off the beach in flip-flops is as comfortable as a party celebrating a special occasion.” Other than closing for a month in the winter for cleaning and maintenance, the goal is to keep the location open year round.
Despite its heritage as a fishing community, in the recent past there has been no real fish market in Provincetown. “There was a real need for this kind of market here,” says Mac. “What’s really nice is there is enough space that we get to expand our culinary side with prepared foods as well as work with other local producers for produce and protein.” At some point, once permitting is in place, they plan to cure their own meat and smoke their own fish on site.
An important objective in opening this location was to strengthen the outer Cape community, not only by supporting local fishermen but also offering year-round employment. One of their biggest struggles with being mostly seasonal employers prior to opening the
Provincetown location has been retaining talented people. now they have the option to keep employees on staff year round, which allows them to mature in their roles. Mac anticipates that they will double the size of their year-round staff from 20 to about 40. And that takes pressure off Mac, Alex and Sam to be everywhere at once. As Mac says: the stronger the community, the stronger the business. And a strong business, with the best products and highly skilled employees, makes for a better experience for both the locals and the tourists.