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Four Chains Expanding Throughout Maine

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From Dunkin' Donuts to Dancing Elephant, here are four national and local chains opening new locations soon.

The Jewel of India is opening a third location in Waterville.
The Jewel of India is opening a third location in Waterville.
Waterville Main Street, FB

A tipster shared a photo (with apologies for the "lackluster quality" of the car window shot) demonstrating the natural progression of the chain store food chain: Yet another Dunkin Donuts is replacing former Tim Hortons/Cold Stone Creamery at 1412 Congress Street in Portland. Eater reported on the shutter of Portland's only Canadian cafe and bake shop last fall, noting the "stiff competition from good, local doughnut and coffee shops, as well as the ubiquitous chain that America Runs On." Those nostalgic few may be pleased Cold Stone never deleted the listing for its Westgate Plaza location; an enigmatic (x) is the only indication the store no longer exists.

Greater Portland is seeing a BBQ boom, with recent additions of Salvage, Buck's Naked, and Elsmere, and the chain-dominated Maine Mall area is about to have its own entrant. Kathleen Pierce shares news of a new Moe's Original Bar B Que location coming to 209 Western Avenue in South Portland. Dewey Hasbrouck, who owns another branch of the Alabama-style, Colorado-based business in Bangor, told Pierce, "The word franchise gets a bad rap." He noted that the food is made from scratch daily, the sides change daily, and he has the ability to create his own recipes. Keep track of construction progress on the new location's Facebook page, where a handful of photos were recently posted.

A Facebook page called "Downtown Waterville, Maine wants an Indian restaurant," created way back in 2011, had 369 likes at the time of writing. As the name suggests, the page is "an open call from the residents of the Waterville area to individuals interested in opening an Indian restaurant in our downtown!" It was a long time coming, but petitioners are getting more than they asked for: Not one, but two existing Indian restaurants are opening locations in the Waterville area.

Iqbal Hossan, owner of Dancing Elephant in Westbrook, will open Dancing Elephant II at 166 Main Street in Fairfield once he completes extensive renovations to the building he has purchased. The Press Herald covered the story, which once involved an in-development Portland location that was damaged by a Wharf Street fire. Hossan said, "We make everything fresh," and promised a daily lunch buffet, great for those who might be unfamiliar with Indian food and would like to sample a variety of dishes.

Not long after the announcement of Fairfield's acquisition, The Jewel of India also announced that it's coming soon to Main Street in Waterville. The restaurant already has South Portland and Biddeford locations.

Will Waterville residents support the introduction of two new Indian purveyors in the area with their food budgets? The Jewel of India provides an encouraging note in the description of its business on Facebook: "...while making food in the Kitchen our utmost attention is towards hygienic atmosphere & cleanliness." So there's that worry out of the way.