For many years, Huber’s Market on Route 1 in Wiscasset was a popular place for commuters and local people stopping in for their morning coffee, breakfast sandwich and newspaper, and in the evening for perhaps a cold beer and a sandwich.
Now two local men plan to reopen the local landmark by the end of the week. The original Huber’s closed after the store was struck by fire, Dec. 30, 2010.
John Smigielski and Mark McGuy said they will do their best to create the same friendly atmosphere enjoyed when the store was run by the Huber family, continuing a tradition that is fondly remembered throughout the area.
Gordon Huber bought the former Colby’s Market in 1964, and ran the business for about 40 years.
He had the distinction of being the first store in the area to sell Italian sandwiches, and pizza. He also ran the restaurant in the building next door, the current home of Ship’s Chow Hall.
Huber’s was well known for their Italian sandwiches, pizzas, steamed hot dogs, steak and cheese subs, and much more. It was a place where customers were known by their first names; they were greeted with a smile, and a hearty handshake.
Tina Fitzsimmons, the current owner of Ship’s Chow Hall, and the Huber’s Market building, remembers Huber as the man who got her started in the restaurant business nine years ago by offering her the opportunity to rent the restaurant building.
Fitzsimmons purchased the property including both buildings at auction Jan. 29. She said she promised herself at that time that if she was going to rent the building at all, it would have to be rented to someone who wanted to bring back another Huber’s.
Smigielski and McGuy plan to offer much the same variety of food as was offered by Huber, right down to Lucarell’s bread used for the Italian sandwiches. Their goal is to be a convenience store that will cater to their customers.
They will also continue being a ticket agent for the Concord Coach bus lines, giving travelers a place to sit while waiting for the bus.
Fitzsimmons said she had several people interested in renting the store but Smigielski and McGuy were the first to call after the auction, asking what her plans were for the building. She said she told them she wanted a convenience store to go there.
On the auction date in January, Smigielski said he got a call from from Jean Price, the owner of the Country Store in Bath, advising him to call Fitzsimmons, because she had just brought the property.
After interviewing some other interested people, Fitzsimmons said she decided to offer the building to her first callers.
Smigielski and McGuy have several business endeavors together, including the Davis Island Grill in Edgecomb, Roosters Coal Fired Pizza and Tap in Augusta, the JSMM Property Management Company in Boothbay, and a small bed and breakfast in Boothbay Harbor.
Between them, Smigielski and McGuy have over 75 years of food service experience. Before moving to Maine, Smigielski was the general manager for Heartland Brewery and Chop House near Times Square in New York City.
McGuy was the chef/owner of the Cafe Dolce Trottoria, located in Suffern, N.Y.
The two men have decided to open before completely stocking their shelves to give them an opportunity to meet their customers and listen to what they would like to see in the new store.
The new Huber’s will have five employees, and will be open from 5 a.m. until 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
The Sunday hours have not been decided. To start off they will offer a special of two, 16-inch pizzas and a two-liter of soda for $19.95. To place an order call 882-6400.