LEWISTON — Susan Hall said it was a natural progression for her downtown business: Her wine shop, The Vault, was running out of room, she’d wanted to expand into classes like Wine 101 and she’s lived above lunch spot Marche since December.

So she bought Marche and the building it’s in at 40 Lisbon St. from Eric Agren in July and hopes to debut the new Marche Kitchen & Wine Bar as soon as next week,  offering lunch, upscale dinners and classes.

After closing this week for renovations, including an expanded bar, Hall hopes to reopen next Tuesday for lunch with Marche’s familiar favorites — with a twist — and tentatively start serving dinner next Friday.

“In the evening the menu will transform to seasonally oriented, artisanal, small-plate offerings that will focus on local, fresh ingredients that’ll be forever changing, based on what’s available,” Hall said.

Once up and running, Marche Kitchen & Wine Bar will be open from 4 to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.

Kevin Cunningham, former executive chef for the Brunswick Hotel & Tavern (formerly The Inn at Brunswick Station), is the new chef manager. He’s lived in Lewiston for eight years.


“When I heard what she was doing here, I thought it was really a perfect marriage,” Cunningham said. “We want every plate to be a ‘Wow, this is fabulous.’ The ability to be able to really change and flex with the seasons was really a huge appeal to me.”

It might mean, for instance, offering a plate of burrata cheese with heirloom tomatoes when they’re in season and pairing the cheese with roasted vegetables later in the year, he said.

Plates are designed to be small, light meals, with diners ordering one or two for themselves or several for the table. Cunningham plans a daily soup, desserts and regular vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free meals.

“We’ll draw on a variety of classic American cuisine, to Spanish and French, to Mediterranean,” Hall said. “It’ll really be the-world-is-your-oyster, so to speak.”

As part of the renovations this week, the bar is being extended 7 feet, adding seating for 10. Bar manager Tom Ardia said he plans to offer six drafts, an extensive wine and craft beer list and classic cocktails like Negronis and Manhattans.

“Basically, the concept of the bar is that it’s going to be high-end drinking,” Ardia said. “It’s a style that’s come back a little bit depending on where you are in the country, pre-Prohibition, post-Prohibition drinking — very simple, but very high-quality drinks.”


He hopes to use locally produced alcohol, fresh juice, herbs and spices, when available.

Staff will be versed in what drinks to pair with what plates. Drinks will range from $8 to $11, plates from roughly $8 to $14.

Reservations will be taken for parties of six or more.

Hall has set aside Mondays and Tuesdays for wine and culinary education classes. “From Wine 101, Beer 101,” she said.

She hired five people to make the expansion to dinners.

“I’m very excited,” Hall said. “We’ve developed a really adventuresome, great community of folks at The Vault. It makes so much sense to be able to service, basically, their home needs, but now we’re utilizing the same products we talk about all the time.”

Agren said Wednesday the sale was a “great opportunity” for himself and Hall. Now he’ll be able to focus more on Fuel, his restaurant across the street.

“Having another vibrant business open at night on Lisbon Street is something that is very attractive to me,” Agren said. “Is it competition? Sure, but it will bring more people downtown, there will be more energy and conversation, and in the long run will be better for all of our businesses.”


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