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July 25, 2016

Owners of Central Provisions have pizza in mind for new Back Cove site

Courtesy / Malone Commercial Brokers The former site of the Borealis Bakery & Bistro at 182 Ocean Ave. in Portland, which has been purchased by the owners of Central Provisions, Paige and Chris Gould. The wife-and-husband team plan to use an onsite, wood-burning oven to produce Neapolitan-style pizza at the location.
Courtesy / Malone Commercial Brokers The wood-burning oven at 182 Ocean Ave.

PORTLAND — Paige and Chris Gould, wife-and-husband owners of the popular eatery Central Provisions at 414 Fore St. in Portland, have purchased 182 Ocean Ave. in Portland’s Back Cove for $667,500.

The transaction, which closed June 29, was carried out by Malone Commercial Brokers, with Peter Harrington and Jessamyn Mackey representing the Goulds, and Joe Malone and Jenn Small representing the seller, who went by the name of Sajon LLC.

The building at 182 Ocean Ave. dates to 1951 and is 2,720 square feet. It is considered a turnkey restaurant location — and the Goulds plan to use the wood-fired oven to make Neapolitan-style pizza.

The site formerly housed the Borealis Bakery & Bistro, which closed in February. Jim Amaral, the baker, told the Portland Press Herald at the time the company would focus on its wholesale bread business, and said the building at 182 Ocean Ave. was owned by his brother, a Massachusetts real estate developer who decided to sell the property. The building and grounds were renovated in 2008.

Harrington and Mackey helped the Goulds find their site for Central Provisions at 414 Fore St., which was built in 1828 by Daniel Fox, who worked for the East India Trading Co. The Goulds purchased the building in June 2013, carried out an extensive renovation, and opened as Central Provisions in February 2014. In the hands of the Goulds — with Chris as chef and Paige as general manager — the restaurant was quickly recognized as one of Portland’s best, becoming a James Beard Award finalist in 2015 for best new restaurant.

When the Goulds began to think about a second location in a less-touristy part of Portland, they initially worked with Harrington and Mackey to find a location to lease.

But when 182 Ocean Ave. came on the market, Harrington and Mackey thought it would be a perfect fit and opportunity for the Goulds. The location is close to North Deering, Deering Highlands and Deering Center, as well as Falmouth.

“We thought it would be a great neighborhood location and that it would fit in as a natural progression with the Goulds’ investments, business plans and goals to diversify,” said Harrington. “It is the perfect location to reach local nearby neighborhoods. The neighborhood is largely residential, with a limited number of businesses.”

Building a menu around a wood-fired oven

“The space dictated to us what it was going to be because it had a wood-fired oven already in place: When we see that we think Neapolitan-style pizzas,” she said, sparing a few minutes to talk by phone during a week kept extremely busy by the Old Port’s high tourist season. “We intend to do pizza and homemade pasta.”

Paige Gould is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and Chris Gould is a graduate of the Balsams Culinary Apprenticeship School in Dixville Notch, N.H. Chris, born and raised in Bethel, left his chef de cuisine position at the Uni Sashimi Bar in Boston to open Central Provisions with Paige.

“We were living in Boston and, when we would visit his parents, we would frequently stop in Portland on our way to and from Boston,” said Paige. “Eventually, he said he wanted to move back to Maine, and I said I’d love to move to Portland.”

The Goulds will carry out some cosmetic work on their new establishment. They’re keeping the name and décor under wraps for now, but she said they hope to open by this coming December or January.

They were attracted to the location because of its neighborhood feel, she said. Whereas Central Provisions is largely patronized by tourists, with its share of regular locals, “We also wanted to be able to do something for the community,” she said.

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