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July 17, 2018

Lewiston restaurant Marché suddenly closes

The Marché restaurant in downtown Lewiston announced its closure in a Facebook post.

The Sun Journal reported that when Susan Hall bought the restaurant at 40 Lisbon St. from founder Eric Agren in 2014, she said it was a natural extension of her downtown wine store, The Vault.

According to a 2014 Sun Journal article, Hall did some renovations and, with chef manager Kevin Cunningham, planned a menu of artisanal, small-plate offerings.

Marché's July 14 Facebook post said, "As some of you may have already heard, we will be closing our door soon. On behalf of Gary & Susan Hall and the Marché team would like to say THANK YOU to the Lewiston Auburn community for 4 years of business. Come see us one last time, (or two) as we finish up our stay on Lisbon St. We hope to see you before our closing on Friday, July 20th."

The Sun Journal reported that Keller Williams Realty has listed the building listed for sale at $295,000, describing it as a 4,224-square-foot turnkey restaurant and two-bedroom executive apartment above.

Restaurants boost Lewiston's resurgence

In 2009, Agren wrote an article for Mainebiz that discussed his decision to open Marché, across the street from his first downtown Lewiston restaurant, Fuel, as "a French-inspired lunch spot, catering to the downtown business district."

He wrote that the investments come "from both a deep affection for the community where I grew up and what I believe is savvy business sense. Although slowed considerably due to the economic downturn, downtown Lewiston continues to change and develop. New restaurants — City Side Grill, She Doesn't Like Guthries, Mother India and now Marché — have popped up in the past two years, all within blocks of each other."

He added, "My wife and I expect downtown development to continue to grow, albeit slowly, over the next five years, with a focus on the dining and residential sectors. As that development unfolds, we expect to see a small core of affiliated businesses sprout up — such as dry cleaners and specialty markets — that would cater to a growing downtown population."

Those observations have come to pass, as downtown Lewiston continues to experience a resurgence.

Although still a work in progress, owners, users and investors are buying and renovating buildings and converting them for retail, restaurants, offices and residences.

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