A camera obscura (pl. camerae obscurae or camera obscuras; from Latin camera obscūra ('dark chamber') is a darkened room with a small hole or lens at one side through which an image is projected onto a wall
The inspiration for Obscura comes from the unique character of the building it calls home. Originally the flagship location of Lamey-Wellehan, the building was designed in the Art Deco style of the period. Lewiston natives Corey DuFour and Angie Lafrance had long held a vision for what would become Obscura and partnered with another Maine native, Nathan Hines, to bring our shared vision to fruition.
Between Corey’s love of historical Lewiston and skills in carpentry, Angie’s lifelong practice as an artist, and Nate’s knowledge and background in film, we put together a place that pays tribute to all of those things at once. We’ve taken it from a classic retail store that had long been left behind, to a cafe and drinkery that is reminiscent of the theaters of the early twentieth century.
The name hints at the goal of Obscura, which is to bring something different to patrons. We wanted to create a place that would be more than just another food and drink spot. We wanted to utilize the unique space to it’s full potential to provide a venue where people can also be entertained by a variety of unique events and features.
When you step into Obscura you’ll feel like you’ve time traveled. Our most notable feature is the theater screen above our bar that will feature an ongoing rotation of silent films to add to the ambiance of your visit. There’s the original Art Deco display windows and a gallery wall for displaying the work of local artists. Upon stepping inside you’ll see our beautiful custom spiral staircase that was built by Don DuFour of Greene. The staircase leads up to our mezzanine that has a perfect bird’s eye view of the space below as well as the theater screen and will be used for small private functions. The interior houses many unique antique pieces from the furniture to the decor. We also have plans in the works to develop the downstairs level into a speakeasy with a bar and stage for performances. There will be no shortage of special themed events, holidays, art markets, and entertainment.
Beyond the atmosphere, we offer a menu of delicious cafe style foods created by our creative and talented chef, Jules Muzyka. We specialize in tasty paninis such as our French Onion Soupanini, Picaadilly pickle panini, and a variety of other unique takes on some of the more classic sandwiches. Our menu also features rustic flatbreads, small plates and snacks, charcuterie, and both sweet desert waffles along with a savory potato waffle dish. Jules has worked on making our menu unique as well as inclusive with about half of the items having vegan substitutes available. We also have plenty of great craft beer, wine, craft canned cocktails, seltzers and ciders.