Allan "Red" Gagnon has operated since 1938, originally in Boothbay, Maine. It moved to its present location at the intersection of Water Street and Main Street in Wiscasset in 1954. It is open from mid-April to mid-October. In addition to its signature lobster rolls, Red's serves hamburgers, french fries, hot dogs, and chicken sandwiches. The lobster rolls were priced at $17 as of 2012.
Red's is best known for its lobster rolls and fried clams. The building is an actual lobster shack; it has been described as being about the size of a minivan. There is no inside seating; long lines are common (with wait times of an hour or more), and traffic on nearby Route 1 often exceeds 25,000 cars a day in the summer. A highway bypass is under consideration by the local community as a way of easing traffic congestion on Route 1; as an alternative to the bypass, some locals have suggested moving Red's to another location, due to the amount of congestion Red's causes in the village area of town during the tourist season.
The restaurant is considered a midcoast Maine landmark. It has been profiled in numerous magazine and newspaper reviews, Internet reviews, and television features. One of the owners of the restaurant, Debbie Cronk, co-wrote a book with Virginia Wright called Red’s Eats: World’s Best Lobster Shack.
- 1,000 Places to See in the USA and Canada Before You Die by Patricia Schultz
- 500 Things to Eat Before It’s Too Late by Michael and Jane Stern (USA Today)
- Best Lobster in Maine (Travel + Leisure)
- Longest Wait In Line Just To Get Dinner (The Haunted Hathaways)
- Debbie Cronk and Virginia Wright, Red's Eats: World's Best Lobster Shack, Down East Books (June 16, 2010), hardcover, 96 pages, ISBN 0892728574 ISBN 978-0892728572
- "In Maine Village, Lobster Goes Briskly; Traffic, No" article by Abby Goodnough in The New York Times July 30, 2010, accessed July 31, 2010
- Pages 32 and 33, Jane and Michael Stern, Roadfood, Broadway Books (2002), trade paperback, 494 pages, ISBN 0-7679-0809-0