This week’s Buzz is absolutely sizzling.

The entrepreneurs who in November teased that they’d be bringing burlesque, fondue and more bacon to downtown Auburn are more than halfway there.

Marcus Verrill and Joe Richards said this week that Lava — Fondue Restaurant & Show Lounge opened in January to “raving reviews.” There’s a daily bar special and cabaret shows every Friday and Saturday night that will change up every seven to eight weeks. Performers have names like Simone De Boudoir and Vivian Vice.

You’ll be forgiven if you hadn’t noticed they’d opened yet — Verrill and Richards decided to skip signage, on purpose, “due to the speakeasy vibe.”

Instead, there are red lights outside marking the entrance, two doors down from Auburn Hall on Court Street.

The high-profile restaurant spot next door to Lava, at Court and Main streets, is still papered over while renovations continue for their planned second venture, House of Bacon.


“(We) hope to open within a few months with brunch, (a) self-serve bloody Mary bar, live bands, Free Bacon Happy Hour and an all-out relaxed atmosphere,” they wrote in an email this week.

Most of that sentence was written in caps, and if ever a sentence deserved to be, it may be that one . . . 

From customs with love

Everyone loves a good Valentine, but a Valentine that’s unique and prophetic?

That’s just extra sweet.

From Tuesday’s Lovelines in the Sun Journal:


“A factory owner named K gave importers a horrible day.

She proved that their blankets involved hanky-pankets and the ITC saw it her way.”

It can only be referring to Auburn Manufacturing Inc.’s Kathie Leonard, who testified in Washington, D.C. last month about subsidized foreign imports hurting her business.

On Wednesday, the day after the Lovelines ran, Maine’s entire congressional delegation announced that the U.S. International Trade Commission had voted that day that the subsidies were unfair and that U.S. Customs will start collecting stepped-up duties on those specialized fabric imports.

A very Happy Valentine’s indeed.

Broadening beer turf


Baxter Brewing Co. founder Luke Livingston announced this week that he’d hired two new territory sales managers for the Lewiston brewery and that he’d start splitting his time between here and Portland to spread the Baxter word.

Livingston will spend a few days a week at Portland’s CloudPort co-working space to connect with current, and hopefully future, wholesale and other clients from there.

It’s also “a way to further engage the vibrant startup community in the state,” he wrote in a news release.

It’s all about the bottom line:

“The amount of change the craft brewing industry has witnessed in the last two or three years, and the pace with which it’s changing, is completely unparalleled. The Maine/New Hampshire/Massachusetts market alone is now home to more than 200 breweries and it feels like two more will open before you reach the end of this release. Therefore, feet on the street in the form of brewery sales reps and territory managers are arguably more important now than at any time in the industry’s storied history.”

Quick hits about business comings, goings and happenings. Have a Buzzable tip? Contact staff writer Kathryn Skelton at 689-2844 or [email protected]

Lava — Fondue Restaurant & Show Lounge is somewhat hidden in the iconic Goff Block at Main and Court streets in Auburn.

A cartoon piece of bacon smiling and happy.
Getty Images/iStockphoto

A cartoon piece of bacon smiling and happy.

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