DAMARISCOTTA — There’s nothing quite like a bowl of homemade chicken soup when you’re sick.

In all likelihood if you’re bundled up on the couch with the flu, you’re not going to be motivated to whip up a big batch yourself. If there’s no one else around to do it for you, you’ll end up with a sad, canned soup that doesn’t quite hit the spot.

King Eider’s Pub has decided canned soup just isn’t good enough, and is offering free chicken soup to anyone who calls in.

Pub co-owner Todd Maurer said the idea started after he made a batch of soup for his in-laws. They caught the flu, and weren’t able to get out or cook for themselves.

After making that soup, he noticed just how many people in town were sick. “A lot of dinner reservations were cancelling because of sickness,” he said.

It wasn’t just reservations. Trivia Night, normally popular, was missing a lot of familiar faces.

After calling another business in town, Maurer verified what he guessed from the falling numbers: The flu is hitting people hard this year.

So he made huge batches of chicken soup, based on a recipe from his mother, and flash-froze it in bags. Anyone who messages the pub on Facebook, calls, or emails can stop by and get a quart of soup along with instructions on how to warm it.

“The best thing is to stay home, rest, and if you can, sit on the couch and wrap yourself in a blanket. Have some soup and nap on the couch,” he said. “A nice cup or bowl of soup can make you feel better.”

The pub made the announcement on Facebook, assuming that a few people might take up the offer. In less than a day, the post exploded with hundreds of people liking and commenting.

“I never expected it,” said Maurer.

Despite the unexpected attention, King Eideris is ready and willing to hand out soup to anyone under the weather.

“We have a nice supply at the pub ready to go, and we have a backup supply at our other facility,” Maurer said. “When we get down, we can always make more.”

All he wants is for everyone to take it easy and feel better. “Pull over to the pub, call us, we’ll have it ready for you,” he said. “It’s Mainers helping Mainers, that’s it, case closed.”

For more information, visit King Eider’s Facebook page, call 563-6008, or email [email protected]