LEWISTON — The owner of a downtown fine dining restaurant will soon open a French-inspired lunch spot across the street. 

Eric Agren, owner of Fuel, bought the former Camera Service Center building at 40 Lisbon St. five months ago for about $60,000. He is rehabbing the building to include a restaurant, called Marché, downstairs and a high-end, two-bedroom, 2,000-square-foot apartment upstairs. The apartment will be ready for Agren’s tenant this weekend. Marché will open in March or April.

“We call it the little sister to Fuel,” Agren said. 

Marché will serve lunch only, except on Mondays, when it will offer a fixed-menu dinner limited to 20 patrons. For lunch, Marché will feature French-inspired dishes, including crepes, frites and slow-cooked rotisserie chicken. It will also offer sandwiches, burgers, salads and full entrees. Some of the food will be cooked sous-vide, a method that slowly cooks food in a hot water bath using precise temperatures.

Marché will take orders and distribute food from a counter. Diners can eat in — there will be seating for 40 — or they can take their meals to go. Prices will range from $5 to about $10.

Agren planned a trio of restaurants when he opened Fuel in 2007. Marché will be the second of those three. Although the economy has taken a downturn since Fuel opened its doors, Agren believes his new lunch spot can be just as successful.

“We have a tremendous amount of business opportunity where we’re at,” he said. “You’ve got the Peck building, you have the Five County building, you have TD Bank, you have the IRS, you have DHS, you have the Bates Mill. You have a lot of people right downtown.” 

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Ryan Ouellette of ///Plumb/// Bob’s Plumbing Co. works on the master bathroom sinks in the living/dining area of the apartment Eric Agren is rehabbing above what will be his second restaurant, Marché, set to open in the spring of 2010. The apartment and restaurant are on Lisbon Street near his other restaurant, Fuel.

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