This week, pull up a chair if you can find one, have a seat and let’s let the news (and non-news) fly.

First up: Bear Bones Brewery’s plans to grow — in Lewiston and into Bridgton.

Bear Bones’ Adam Tuuri and Eben Dingman plan to expand to take up the entire first floor at 46 Lisbon St., growing from roughly 1,200 square feet to 4,000.

Dingman said Thursday that they hope to see that work, which includes sound-insulating the walls and creating ADA-compliant restrooms, complete within the year. It will expand seating at Bear Bones from 12 to 80.

“We have our events that get pretty busy and we do see people turning themselves away because the space is crowded,” he said.

The more ways they’re able to capture that crowd the better. That ties in with plans to open a second location this summer at 2 Cottage St. in Bridgton.

“One of the things that happens to Lisbon Street and downtown Lewiston in general in the summer is the people head out to either the lakes or the ocean so we see an opposite seasonal variation from most of the industry that they pick up in the summer,” Dingman said.

Instead, they’re going where the tourists go and adding space there for more barrel-aged brewing.

“We’re stretching ourselves thin, but we’re working hard,” Dingman said. “We’ve been able to hire on some good help in Lewiston and we’ll be hopefully creating some stable jobs in Bridgton and hopefully we can move toward having more full-time positions and producing more beer for people to enjoy.”

Now for burgers . . .

Auburn brothers Scott and Jon Demers have added a line of ready-to-cook low-fat hamburgers to their frozen food repertoire.

Brava Meat Co. launched in May with two flavors — Original Seasoned and Bacon & Chedder — and are in more than 500 stores already from the Northeast to the Midwest, including Shaws, ShopRite, Safeway, Lunds & Byerlys, Sendiks and Fareway.

Scott Demers said their mother, Polly Demers, came up with the name.

“Brava essentially means the same thing as bravo, ‘Well done! Congratulations!'” he said.  “We thought it fit because we were able to make a healthy burger that tastes like it’s bad for you and for that we thought the celebratory tone worked.”

The beef burgers come four quarter-pound patties to a pack with each burger having less than 10 grams of fat per serving. Onion & Swiss, jalapeno cheddar and a brisket burger are all in development.

Five years ago the Demers brothers, both Edward Little grads, started down the frozen food path with Crabbies, inspired by their grandmother’s recipe, and have launched several offerings since under their Cheating Gourmet line. Their business is headquartered on Main Street. 

That’s rippin’ good

A sweet end to its 26th season: “Ripcord” set a new box office record last month for The Public Theatre.

Christopher Schario, the Lewiston theater’s executive/artistic director, said more than 2,400 people saw “Ripcord,” setting a new record for the number of tickets sold for the run of one production. The previous record had been held by “The Ladies Foursome” from last season, which he thought might stand for a while.

“Ripcord,” by playwright David Lindsay-Abaire, is a comedy that follows two women duking it out for the best room in their retirement home.

“It was a pretty strong-selling season all together and that one (‘Ripcord’) just went over the top,” Schario said. “We thought it was going to be a big seller, but we were stunned. In every performance, people were hanging from the rafters.” 

The theater’s 27th season starts in October.

Maybe the record will fall again?

And it’s . . . nothing. Yet.

Despite appearances, hopes and rumors, the official word is that nothing is happening beside Best Buy in Auburn. For now.

While activity at the site makes it look like there’s something brewing, it’s actually a contractor working on a local construction project using the area as a “lay-down” yard for his equipment, according to Craig Young, a broker and partner at The Boulos Co. who works frequently with mall owner and developer George Schott.

According to the city, the area has previously been approved for office, retail and food service space.

So hope for retail (and an Olive Garden?) springs eternal.

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

Eben Dingman, left, Adam Tuuri and Tuuri’s dog Peko relax in Bear Bones Beer on Lisbon Street in Lewiston just before it opened in December 2015. The business partners announced this week that they’re expanding the Lewiston location and adding a second storefront and brewing space in Bridgton.

Auburn brothers Scott and Jon Demers’ latest frozen food offering is Brava Meat Co. low-fat burgers. The brothers launched the line in May and it’s in 500 stores already.


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