Lil’s Cafe was envisioned to be a neighborhood meeting place, a hub for locals and travelers alike to gather, eat amazing food, make lifelong friends, and return to again and again. The location in Wallingford Square was both ideal and risky for a new venture; the historic space, once a bank, was on a corner that was well-lit and well-traveled, but other businesses over the years had come and gone, and the commercial spaces were often empty, much to the disappointment of the community, who missed having a downtown away from the outlet malls on Route 1.
In the face of all odds, the team who brought the vision together—a restauranteur, a tea expert, an event planner, three talented bakers, and a coffee nut—were determined to see it through. The opening of Lil’s Cafe was strategically planned in conjunction with other businesses in Wallingford Square—first Folk gallery, then Anju noodle bar, and Maine Squeeze juice bar in what used to be a drive-up bank kiosk just outside the cafe; and finally, MEat. (Recently, Wallingford Dram also joined the ranks!)
The community rallied around these businesses, eager to see the atmosphere and culture of Kittery rise to the standard of its neighboring towns. Today all the businesses continue to thrive and grow, bolstered by locals who are tried and true, and also by the streams of out-of-towners who come through all seasons of the year.
Lil’s Cafe is named for Lilian Mangos, a beloved cashier who worked the “in-window” at Bob’s Clam Hut in Kittery for many years. Although she did not live to see Lil’s open, her spirit lives on in the tales that are told about her time at Bob’s, her gift with people, and her charming stubbornness. Many guests at Lil’s Cafe remember her and hold her dear in their hearts.
* We are located at the end of Walker Street across from PNSY. Looking for parking? We have plenty. Free Wi-Fi? We have that, too! If you're coming for the first time, be sure to try a cruller. They're game-changers...
Julianna Knoettner, General Manager
Deb McCluskey, Cafe Manager
Erica Courtney, Cafe Manager
Heather Martin, Cafe Manager
Barista / Service Staff
Kacy, Alissa, Moriah, Vance, Emily, Katherine, Reilly, Deb Z, Matt, Maya
Kristina Alving, Head Baker
Sommer, Chris, Katie, Marni, Andrew, Michael.