25-year-old restaurant Pepperclub and its breakfast alter-ego Good Egg Café, once reported to be seeking a new location, will close by the end of September. Co-owner Melissa Sawyer told Kathleen Pierce she was exhausted after a fruitless search for affordable rents on the peninsula. Expecting a "very profitable summer," Sawyer was also shocked when "numbers dipped...to levels" she had never seen. "The perception that the restaurant had closed was hard to shake."
"Being located on the same block as Eventide Oyster Co. and Hugo's made it all the more difficult. 'Tourists want to go to places with a national reputation,' said Sawyer, who said the owners of these hotspots plan to expand into her space."
Last month, a Facebook status update stated that Pepperclub had "found a turn key spot in Portland," and it sounded like things would turn out okay. A few days later, though, Pepperclub posted that it was "vying for the old Portland Rochester Public House on Preble St. in Portland." Ultimately, the deal fell through.
Meredith Goad reached Mary Paine, Pepperclub's other co-owner, who has been absent from Pepperclub's daily workings since June 1, "when she and her husband started new jobs as caretakers of a 37-acre private island off the coast of Castine, four hours from Portland."
"Paine said she now wishes they had closed the restaurant at that point, but at the time she did not want to announce publicly that she was leaving because 'I wanted the Pepperclub to be able to find its way,' and announcing she was leaving 'wouldn't have helped that situation.'"The piece also notes that a potential relocation to Kennebunk collapsed.
According to Pierce, Sawyer is now "taking steps to liquidate the company and hold an equipment auction." The owner said she hopes to re-open as something else in the future, but for now, the business is done. Those looking to patronize the restaurant in its final days should call ahead to check hours, as there is no set closing date yet.
With Pepperclub closing and Dean'sSweets moving to a larger location in the Old Port, is it possible Hugo's and Eventide will soon operate the entire building on Middle Street?
· After 25 years, the Pepperclub closes in Portland [BDN]
· After 25 years in Portland, Pepperclub restaurant appears ready to close [PPH]
· All Pepperclub/Good Egg Café Coverage [-EME-]
· All The Shutter Coverage [-EME-]