Duckfat Changes Hands

Rob Evans and Nancy Pugh have sold their restaurants Duckfat and Duckfat Frites Shack and retired from the restaurant industry. The team at Duckfat and overall philosophy of the business will remain the same. A 16-year veteran team member and front of house manager, Trevor Lilly, will be the overall GM of the business and the new owner of Duckfat is David Shryock. The sale was completed on April 30th.

We caught up with Pugh and Evans recently. They shared their pride in what they’d built at Duckfat and their confidence in the team’s ability to independently carry their vision for Duckfat in the coming years. In fact it was the commitment and skill of the Duckfat staff that made Evans and Pugh comfortable that company could continue on without them under new ownership.

Trevor Lilly shared some similar sentiments about the path forward for Duckfat,

The Duckfat team is passionate about building upon Rob and Nancy’s legacy. We couldn’t be more excited to be stewards of the collaborative, respectful, and dynamic culture they’ve fostered over the years. We look forward to continuing to cultivate approachable menus with a focus on consistency, technique, and a commitment to supporting the Maine food and beverage community. More than anything, our staff is thrilled to continue to provide delicious food and exceptional service to our friends in Portland – in our hearts, we see both locations as neighborhood spots.

Rob Evans and Nancy Pugh moved to Portland and took over Hugo’s in 2000 and for nearly a quarter of a century have been central figures in the Portland restaurant community. The couple launched Duckfat in 2005 and Duckfat Frites Shack on Washington Ave in 2018. Evans was a Food & Wine Best New Chef in 2004, and he won a James Beard award in the Best Chef North East category in 2009. A legion of their former employees at Hugo’s and Duckfat have gone on to make their own mark in the industry.