PORTLAND — Three Dollar Dewey’s, a pub that’s been a staple of the Old Port for nearly 40 years and that helped to launch Maine’s craft beer scene, has closed.
“The family has made the decision to retire,” a sign posted on the door over the weekend said. “Our family has been honored sharing this time with you. Family traditions have a way of continuing forward.”
Three Dollar Dewey’s is owned by Berry and Sandra Marston, according to city records. The four-story building that houses the pub is owned by SLM Properties in Portland. Sandra Marston and SLM Properties Inc. bought the building in 1994 for $300,000. The property is currently assessed at more than $1.5 million, according to city records.
Calls to SLM repeatedly went to a fax machine.
Three Dollar Dewey’s opened in 1980 at Fore and Union streets – a spot so popular it has a Facebook page, “Old Three Dollar Deweys” – and in 1995 moved to 241 Commercial St. The new location opened with 36 taps, unheard of at the time and double the number found at the old spot, and included more Maine-made microbrews.
The groundbreaking pub was founded by Alan D. Eames, a beer historian and author known as “The Beer King.” Eames, who died in 2007 at age 59, traveled the globe searching for and studying exotic brews. In the 2016 book “Brewing in Maine,” author Tom Major wrote that Dewey’s “was unlike any other bar in Maine, or probably the United States. Budweiser and other macrobrews were not served. Instead, patrons drank Anchor Steam and draft Guinness, as well as exotic beers discovered on Eames’ many journeys.”
Deweys’ state and city licenses were scheduled to expire Wednesday, according to the city’s licensing and registration coordinator.
Three Dollar Deweys, an Old Port institution located at 241 Commercial St., which opened in 1980 and introduced beer drinkers to a wide variety of styles, has closed.