This week the Buzz is ready for lunch, and just in time.

Lewiston is getting a Portland Pie Co.

The pizza shop and pub has signed a letter of intent to go into the shuttered Lincoln Street firehouse that developers Kara Wilbur and Paul Peck saved from demolition last year and hoped to bring back to life.

It’ll be the chain’s eighth location.

The City Council last week approved a two-month extension on the purchase and sale agreement Wilbur and Peck have on the city property. It had been set to expire June 1.

Wilbur said Tuesday that Portland Pie is in the midst of opening its Waterville location and needed just a little more time before focusing attention here.


“We had talked to a number of different potential commercial operators,” she said. “We’re really excited for it to be moving and just getting to the next phase of getting the signed lease and really start working through all the next steps.”

Portland Pie will occupy the entire first floor at 188 Lincoln St. Wilbur said a fall opening would be ideal.

Plans still call for creating rental living space on the second floor of the old firehouse.

And, in other eating news . . .  

Keep those Riblets coming

Developer George Schott sold his 5,554-square-foot Applebee’s restaurant building on Center Street in Auburn to an undisclosed buyer for $3 million in early May, according to MaineBiz’s Real Estate Insider on Tuesday.


Craig Young and Chris Paszyc of CBRE/The Boulos Co. brokered the sale.

Schott had picked up the restaurant two years ago as part of a package deal when he sold three properties around the Auburn Mall.

Young on Tuesday said that the Applebee’s will remain an Applebee’s “for a long time to come, they have a long-term lease. (It was) just an investment sale.”

It’s electric

Many area homes received a mailer last week from North American Power offering a $50 prepaid Visa card for signing up for its six-month guaranteed power rate of 7.49 cents per kilowatt-hour, which is lower than the Central Maine Power-area’s standard offer of 7.921 cents. The standard offer is the default rate if you don’t go out of your way to choose a competitive electric provider.

So should you change?


The Maine Office of the Public Advocate’s collected rates and terms for nine electricity providers on its website for consumer cost comparisons. Only two specific plans by two companies currently beat the standard offer, including North American Power’s new six-month rate, which is so new it isn’t on OPA’s chart yet.

Included on the back of North American Power’s recent mailer: a note that if you switch, you’ll receive a renewal notice prior to the six months ending. “If a renewal option is not selected prior to the date in your applicable renewal notice, you will default to our variable rate product, with its own separate pricing, terms and conditions.”

For North American Power, the variable rate listed online is 14.99 cents, nearly double the standard offer.

It’s manufacturing . . . and it’s also electric

The Manufacturers Association of Maine is holding its annual Maine Manufacturing Summit this Friday at Lost Valley in Auburn. Registration is open until the close of business on Wednesday.

Executive Director Lisa Martin said 220 people had registered by Tuesday morning and she was expecting 275 to 300 on Friday.


The summit will feature teen teams showing off their robotics skills, three Maine companies nominated for the “Innovator of the Year” award talking about what makes them innovative, made-in-Maine trivia, trends in the industry, a legislative update, energy talk and announcing new initiatives.

Martin said all 14 candidates for governor were given questionnaires about workforce, energy and tax reform, three topics important to manufacturers. Just five responded and those five folks will also be there in person Friday.

“We have two R’s, two D’s and one I — I’m thrilled,” Martin said.

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

Kara Wilbur stands in front of the former Lewiston Fire Department substation on Lincoln Street in February. She and business partner Paul Peck announced that Portland Pie Co. will be moving into the site. (Sun Journal file photo)

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