Up until the 1920’s there was really no need for restaurants. There were some tearooms, notably The Whistling Oyster, and The Dan Sing Fan. The tourist season ran from July 1 until Labor Day. Ogunquit had 13 hotels, each of which had their own dining rooms. They offered the American plan, and most of the guests stayed for at least a month, and many for the whole season.
For the most part the natives ate at home, some of the summer tourists did drive to Portsmouth or Portland if they wanted to eat out.
In 1913 Route One, which had been just dirt, was concreted from Kittery to Biddeford. automobiles were still owned by a very few, and the trucking industry wouldn’t really be in full swing until after 1918. Although trains were still carrying passengers, it was trucks that were hauling vast amounts of freight. They could deliver goods directly to the consumer. The only road either north or south was Route One. Many arrived by train at the Wells Depot, and were transported by Brewster’s Express/Taxi. The traffic on Route One increased noticeably.
Ossie Perkins built a diner. Originally it may have been called Sterling Diner, but was known by the locals as “Ossie’s Diner”. About this time the first overnight cabins were being built. For the most part these cabins only had toilet facilities, and nothing for cooking. These people had to eat somewhere, and Sterling Diner was very visible on busy Route One.
By 1930 the Ogunquit Lobster Pound had been built across the road from the Diner. it was originally owned by the Varneys and Hamiltons. In 1940 the Hancock family purchased it, and the family has operated it since 1941. Mrs. Gleason had a lobster pound at the beach and later she opened a restaurant on the east side of Route One just south of the Ogunquit Lobster Pound.
Ossie expanded his place. The roof was shingled red and renamed Sterling restaurant. They served breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It was a very popular place. By the mid 1950’s the menu was more diversified. The had daily specials, and also a printed menu. Their most expensive entrée was Choice of cup of soup, Chowder or Juice; Crackers, Maine Steamed Clams, Drawn Butter, Broiled Stuffed Live Lobster, French Fried Potatoes, Salad, Hot Rolls, Desert, Tea or Coffee. Price $4.75. Several people have run the restaurant since Ossie passed away. In 1979 Kemon Bosen leased the property and together with his wife and son, ran it for 23 years, renaming it “The Egg and I”. Today it is still a very popular place with a loyal clientele, and specializes in breakfast and lunch. The current owners, Bob and Sally Appis, are friends of Kemon Bosen and gained first hand knowledge of the restaurant after 20 years as loyal customers themselves. The Egg and I is open from 6-2 daily from late March until mid December. Bob and Sally have committed to continuing the successful tradition of serving fresh hot food in a clean and friendly atmosphere, with prompt and courteous service.
— Charles Littlefield, Seaman