Red passes on

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Cheeseburger
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2008/06/21 07:08:43 (permalink)

Red passes on

Opened the morning paper today and found this:

WISCASSET (AP) -- Allen "Red" Gagnon, whose informal coastal eatery "Red's Eats" was known far and wide, has died but his business will go on.

The 71-year-old Gagnon died of respiratory failure at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston June 13 and he was to be buried Friday. But his daughter, Debbie Cronk, said Red's Eats will continue in the shack that's a familiar landmark to thousands of people who pass through town along U.S. Route 1.

A former shipyard worker who also owned a trailer park and pizzeria, Gagnon bought a trailer-sized shack in 1977 that became known for its lobster rolls. It had been featured on national TV networks, including CNN and NBC, and in magazines including National Geographic.

Gagnon, who had been hospitalized since February, is remembered as a regular guy who was friendly and enjoyed working around people.

"He was the first person to come by and welcome me my first day on the job," Wiscasset Town Manager Arthur Faucher said. Faucher said Gagnon "left a legacy" to Wiscasset.

When he established Red's Eats, it was much like the many other clam shacks dotted along Maine's coast. But Gagnon's outgoing demeanor and rolls bulging with lobster meat set his business apart from others.

"My dad was the kind of guy who'd talk to anyone," said his daughter Debbie. "He was interested in people, so while they would wait in line he'd ask them questions, start a conversation."

Marked by a stack of lobster traps, American flag and red and white awning, Red's Eats became so popular that lines often snaked around the walk-up shack and down Main Street.

People came for hamburgers, hot dogs, onion rings and especially lobster rolls. Maine humorist Tim Sample says they were also drawn by a sense of nostalgia for that special style of eatery.
#1

11 Replies Related Threads

    wheregreggeats.com
    Filet Mignon
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    RE: Red passes on 2008/06/21 08:22:15 (permalink)
    I made my first pilgrimage to Red's last month.

    Clearly, from reading the obit, Red wasn't there ... but one thing I remembered was the friendliness of the people working there ... I am sure that will be part of his legacy.

    #2
    anniel
    Junior Burger
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    RE: Red passes on 2008/06/21 11:09:11 (permalink)

    I'm glad to see this website has acknowledged the passing of the man who some say put Wiscasset, Maine on the map with Red's Eats.

    Allen William Gagnon (1936-2008) passed on June 13th after a long illness. He was an incredibly humble and caring man with a strong character and an unbelievable will to live. Hospital staff called him their 'miracle man' because he overcame so many physical set backs. He had much to live for as I found out yesterday after seeing the outpouring of love and friendship expressed by his beautiful family and friends that gathered at Allen's home after the service.

    I feel honored and blessed to have known Allen, even though it was only for a short time. In honor of his passing, Red's Eats was closed yesterday. Some folks had placed flowers in front of the eatery. A young man, who had stopped by Reds to pay his respect, waved as the hearse slowly road passed...

    We miss you already, Allen!
    #3
    Twinwillow
    Sirloin
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    RE: Red passes on 2008/06/21 11:24:04 (permalink)
    I never had the pleasure of meeting this man. Nor did I have the pleasure of eating at "Red's Eats". But, I feel somehow, that I knew him and his establishment, through these pages.
    My sincerest condolences to his family and friends.
    #4
    Richie37
    Junior Burger
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    RE: Red passes on 2008/12/14 15:37:21 (permalink)
    Has it been confirmed that Red's Eats is still open for business?
    #5
    mayor al
    Fire Safety Admin
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    RE: Red passes on 2008/12/14 15:43:32 (permalink)

    Another legend of the Roadfood Tradition passes away. We can but hope that the shack will continue in the direction he established for it.

    R I P Red, you will be missed.
    #6
    Michael Hoffman
    Double-chop Porterhouse
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    RE: Red passes on 2008/12/14 15:45:59 (permalink)
    Al, you scared the crap out of me. When I read the thread name I thought you were talking about another Red -- one with tresses.
    #7
    wheregreggeats.com
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    RE: Red passes on 2008/12/14 15:53:50 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Richie37

    Has it been confirmed that Red's Eats is still open for business?

    I am sure they are closed for the season.
    #8
    Richie37
    Junior Burger
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    RE: Red passes on 2008/12/14 17:51:41 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by wheregreggeats.com

    quote:
    Originally posted by Richie37

    Has it been confirmed that Red's Eats is still open for business?

    I am sure they are closed for the season.

    Thanks for the reply. Will they be re-opening for the summer season or are they closed for good?
    #9
    Michael Hoffman
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    RE: Red passes on 2008/12/14 18:18:40 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Richie37

    quote:
    Originally posted by wheregreggeats.com

    quote:
    Originally posted by Richie37

    Has it been confirmed that Red's Eats is still open for business?

    I am sure they are closed for the season.

    Thanks for the reply. Will they be re-opening for the summer season or are they closed for good?

    WISCASSET (AP) -- Allen "Red" Gagnon, whose informal coastal eatery "Red's Eats" was known far and wide, has died BUT HIS BUSINESS WILL GO ON.


    #10
    Twinwillow
    Sirloin
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    RE: Red passes on 2008/12/14 18:55:58 (permalink)
    Good friends of mine, whom I told Red had recently passed away, had lunch at "Red's Eats" this past September and, loved it! Red's daughter was at the window taking the food orders.
    #11
    mayor al
    Fire Safety Admin
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    RE: Red passes on 2008/12/14 19:36:52 (permalink)

    Michael-
    I had the same thought the first time I saw the title of the thread. I felt a 'sigh of relief' when I read that it was not "Our Red".
    #12
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