WATERFORD — Springer’s Store, a popular destination for summer folks and locals for decades, may reopen in the spring.

Owner Dave Springer, who lives in Pennsylvania, said that while he still hopes to sell the building, if it doesn’t sell this winter he will reopen.

“I know the community wants it open,” said Springer, who is not related to the store’s namesake.

Springer taught at Bridgton Academy in the 1980s and worked as a counselor at Camp Wigwam in Waterford for many years.

In August, the Waterford Planning Board granted Springer a one-year extension on his five-year business permit in the shoreland zone. The permit expired Sept. 9. Springer said he requested the extension after a potential buyer backed out of the deal.

He would like to reopen the store next spring.

Springer, who is retired and coaches basketball part time at Penn State, had hired his sister, Joy Smith, to run the restaurant and store. But in 2011, when Joy and her husband decided to move on after nine years, Springer put the building up for sale.

Despite reducing the price from $89,000 to $62,000, he has been unable to sell the property at 1218 Waterford Road.

The wood-frame building, built in 1910, includes half an acre of land and two occupied apartments above the store. It has been used as a general store, post office and restaurant with a lobster pound. It also has an approved gas tank on site.

When Springer’s sister and her husband decided to leave the business, a yard sale sign was put on the front porch. Kitchen utensils, commercial kitchen equipment, bar stools, old slate menu boards, a slow cooker and a cabinet door from when the building served as a post office were sold or donated to the Waterford Historical Society.

Pictures of celebrities that hung on the store walls, such as actor Henry Winkler and actress Molly Pietroski, a former Springer’s employee, were sold. Springer said he hopes to restock historical memorabilia in the building.

The store was a destination for customers looking for supplies, wanting to hear a joke or tale, needing directions or advice, or simply good food. Comments from people across the country who had visited the general store could be found online before it shut down.

Springer is unsure whether the store will have a restaurant again or what fashion it will take.

“I’m not sure at this point. A lot of people want it the way it was when my sister was there,” Springer said. “We’ve adjusted the price several times. I’m not trying to make a million bucks. I would like to see someone make a go of it.”

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