The cafe at Sherman’s Maine Coast Book Shop in downtown Damariscotta closed Thursday, Aug. 23, but the shop’s owner hopes to find someone to reopen the cafe soon as a separate business.
“We closed the cafe Thursday at the end of the day because we had too few employees to adequately run the business,” Sherman’s owner Jeff Curtis said in an email response to a request for comment.
“Our great manager and another valued employee both found job opportunities in the fields for which they had gone to school. Summer help (was) headed back to school, and another employee resigned without notice,” Curtis said.
“We decided to close and get some projects done in the cafe while we came up with a plan to put the cafe on a more solid foundation going forward,” he said.
“We are changing the cafe model from a company-owned cafe to an independently owned business,” Curtis said. “We believe that having an owner/operator in the cafe will result in … much better service to the community while still maintaining the inviting ambiance of the bookstore-and-cafe combination.”
The cafe’s equipment and space is available for lease, and several people have already voiced interest in the business, according to Curtis.
The cafe should reopen with new management within two to four weeks. The bookstore will stay open throughout the transition.
The Damariscotta bookstore and cafe became part of the Sherman’s chain in 2016, when Curtis purchased the business from Susan Porter. Sherman’s has five other locations, in Bar Harbor, Boothbay Harbor, Camden, Freeport, and Portland.