An information center and market-cafe will move into the former home of a medical marijuana business on Route 1 in Edgecomb.
The Boothbay Harbor Region Chamber of Commerce will operate the information center, the Midcoast Gateway Visitor Information Center. The owners of the building are in talks with a tenant for the market-cafe.
Bruce Harris and Scott Larson, owners of Water’s Edge Development LLC, bought the building in October 2018.
Gayle Hunt, a representative of the owners, said they intend to remodel the building into two commercial spaces for tenants. The building currently has three units.
Bill Burge, another representative of Water’s Edge Development LLC who will oversee the remodeling; Patricia Royall, executive director of the Boothbay Harbor Region Chamber of Commerce; and Hunt met with the Edgecomb Planning Board to request a change of use. The board determined the application complete and approved the change of use.
“Pairing a market-cafe and a visitor information center with high visibility, plenty of parking, and easy access on and off the highway is a perfect recipe worth testing out,” Royall said in an email.
Hunt declined to identify the prospective tenant for the market-cafe, saying they do not have a final agreement. However, an agreement may be finalized Friday, Feb. 15, she said in a phone interview after the meeting.
The market-cafe will serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Some menu items will include coffee, baked goods, sandwiches, soups, and pizza. It will serve beer and wine, but no hard liquor. Plans call for the market-cafe to be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Hunt said.
Most of the remodeling work will occur inside, Burge said. The outside will stay nearly the same.
The layout for the market-cafe is not solidified yet. According to the site plan for the market-cafe, the space has an interior capacity of 40 seats.
The chamber will occupy the smaller section of the building. French doors will connect the market-cafe to the information center.
According to Royall, there is only one other visitor center on Route 1, in Yarmouth.
The Boothbay Harbor Region Chamber of Commerce previously had a visitor information center at the intersection of Route 1 and Route 27 in Edgecomb. “It was problematic because of the traffic pattern,” Royall said.
“That’s why this location is far superior to that, because it’s so easy on, easy off, and it’s high visibility,” she said. “So if you’re coming over the Wiscasset bridge, you can see the building from the bridge.”
The center will supply guides and rack cards for businesses, and Lincolnville Communications Inc. has donated a 55-inch touchscreen.
“We will be putting in a program that allows people to touch on any portion of the region and blow it up and expand and it will show where they can dine, what activities are going on, (and) lodging,” Royall said.
Wi-Fi will be available for the public, she said.
Royall will oversee the office and hire a few employees to staff it.
The Boothbay Harbor Region Chamber of Commerce will continue to work out of 192 Townsend Ave. in Boothbay Harbor.
The information center will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week.
Royall said the visitor center will be staffed by employees Thursday-Monday and by volunteer ambassadors Tuesday and Wednesday.
“It’s kind of a new venture, so we will have to see how it will go the first year and then we’ll adjust and make changes as needed,” Royall said.
The plan is for the chamber to start moving in April 1 and operating no later than mid-May. The visitor center will be open through Dec. 31 and will reopen the following April 1.
The location was previously a medical marijuana business, hair salon, and indoor golf range.