Rich In History
The Farnsworth Cocktail Bar resides in the old Waterville State Savings Bank. As renovations were considered, the owner was determined to maintain several of the building’s original details including the entryway and vestibule area, the vault, the chandelier, the tall windows, and the customer withdraw/deposit slip area. The rest of the building underwent complete reconstruction including new flooring, walls, a ceiling, and mechanical systems including gas, plumbing, and electric. When shopping paint colors for the restaurant, it took less than 30 seconds to make a decision as one of the options the owner looked at was appropriately named Oyster Bar.
The small kitchen is purposefully open for guests to watch as food is prepared on the French cooktop Viking range. The restaurant’s showstoppers are the stainless steel vent hood configured in the middle of the space; a 24-foot bar, installed where the old teller stations were formerly located; and the old vault that is the restaurant’s wine/ liquor storage. In addition, the bathrooms were renovated to meet ADA requirements, the bank’s old conference room was converted to the dish, prep, and storage areas, and a new raised patio, that seats 12 people, was built on the east side of the building.
This bank is said to be have been robbed by Baby Face Nelson’s crew in the 1930s. Their crew later joined up with John Dillinger (hence many people say John Dillinger robbed this bank). A Tommy gun was then purchased by the bank for protection and resided in the main vault after this robbery. This Tommy gun was later donated to the Waterville Police Department by one of the building owners in the early 2000’s. In which was then auctioned off for over $20,000 to help fund shotguns etc. for the dept. Here is a link for other information on the Protection for the Bank!
We love hearing all the local stories of this building.