New restaurant in Founder’s Hall off the beaten path

Dave’s Lobster hoping locals will enjoy its take on lobster rolls

Erin McCabe
Published on May 3, 2014

Dave Hyndman’s new lobster roll restaurant, Dave’s Lobster, will be opening May 7 in Founder’s Hall.

© Guardian photo by Heather Taweel

Nestled in a corner of P.E.I.’s Founder’s Hall, a new take on an Island food staple will soon be available for tourists and Islanders alike.

Dave Hyndman’s new lobster roll shack will open May 7 - a day before the first cruise ship comes into the Charlottetown Harbour.

OK, it’s not a “shack” per se, he says, but that’s how he pictured his restaurant ever since he thought up Dave’s Lobster this past winter.

“It’s a good location,” says Hyndman, about Founder’s Hall, “But most people never really knew anything was here. It’s hiding in plain sight.”

He believes once his deck is set up with tables and big red umbrellas, and a large sign hanging outside, people will be curious and drop in.

Hyndman, an Island boy, grew up around lobster and loves lobster rolls, so he decided P.E.I. needed a place that served these easy-eating delicacies.

“A lot of people seem to think that lobster is meant to be you know, your big lobster dinner, and it’s actually kind of (pardon my French) a pain in the ass eating a lobster,” says Hyndman, “I always think a lobster roll is a much better way to eat a lobster, because somebody did all the work for you.”

Cruise ships are hopefully going to provide some good business, says Hyndman, but he doesn’t want to count only on tourists visiting his restaurant.

“The cruise ships (are) a big piece of it, but I also really, really want -my goal is for it to become a place that locals come to,” he says, “I really hope it’s a space people come, have a lobster roll and then stay to have a couple more beer with their friends.”

The restaurant will be licensed, with beer from the P.E.I. Brewing Company on tap.

Hyndman says he tried to use local suppliers wherever he could: cheese from Cows, cinnamon rolls from Mary’s Bakery in Cornwall and coffee from Row 142.

It’s been a really hands-on experience for the new restaurateur, who has worked in the tech world for most of his career. He has overseen most, if not all, the major decisions associated with the restaurant - the renovations, menu (two words: lobster taco) and even handpicked the music.

“I picked the kind of music I would hear if I went to kind of a cool coffee shop in New York or something,” he says, “I’ve always been an adult alternative kind of guy.”

As for any competition he may have from other lobster restaurants in Charlottetown, Hyndman isn’t worried.

“I don’t think people are going to have a lobster roll every day,” he says, “Hopefully (they’ll) have one once a week...”