This week the Buzz is bidding adieu to a popular Greene eatery and a mattress store, high-fiving a landmark (and a hamburger-eating champion) and anticipating a busy night for one City Council.

Also, another brewery for Lewiston? Maybe. And marijuana coming to the Auburn Mall? Maybe.

It’s already a dizzyingly busy week!

Hurricane’s Cafe & Deli is closing, with its last day Aug. 31, according to its Facebook page. Hours until then are Wednesday to Saturday, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Attempts to reach Hurricane’s owners were unsuccessful. The note says that the eatery is going to “focus entirely on our wholesale soup business.”

Catering will remain active through October.


Looking to get a fix after Saturday? The soups will retail at Harbor Fish Market in Portland and Fisherman’s Catch in Darmariscotta, according to someone fielding the, “No! please don’t go!” comments on their page.


Bedderrest Mattresses & Furniture is closing three stores, in Auburn, South Portland and Topsham, after 28 years, according to a postcard hitting mailboxes this week.

In Auburn, it’s in the Auburn Plaza on Center Street. A five-day total liquidation sale runs from Thursday to Monday.

Staff at the Auburn store directed a question about the final day of business to the South Portland store, whose phone rang unanswered multiple times.

So maybe get your discount “fine furniture, genuine leather, premium mattresses, lift chairs and accessories” sooner rather than later?


Now, with more voting

The Lewiston City Council is headed for a busy Tuesday.

On Monday night, the Lewiston Planning Board recommended the council approval three items being taken up Sept. 3:

• Chinburg Properties, the new New Hampshire owners of the giant Continental Mill, are looking for a zoning change to allow more commercial tenants.

Long-term plans include a mix of business and housing, bringing “several hundreds of new residential dwelling units to the downtown riverfront area,” according to wording for the proposed ordinance change.

Chinburg Properties has asked the city to change the zoning from riverfront to mill district and to increase the height restriction from 100 feet to 125 feet. The building is 108 feet, 1 inch.


The area was previously zoned as mill district, City Planner Doug Greene said.

“They want to get going,” he said. “They’ve been very good to work with and they have a great track record.”

Greene said they’d like to see activity on the site and are eyeing potential near-term uses such as storage or development in outbuildings.

One potential contender, according to Google Maps and Facebook: Rusty Bus Brewing Co.

It already lists its address as 2 Cedar St., Suite 4.

• The Planning Board voted 6-1 to recommend the city make two zoning changes for Central Maine Power to accommodate its proposed High Voltage Direct Current Converter Substation for the controversial New England Clean Energy Connect project.


CMP is asking for a structure height restriction to be lifted from 35 feet to 80 feet on its 20.1 acres at 183 Merrill Road.

One opponent and several CMP officials showed up Monday night, Greene said. The Sept. 3 council meeting will be both a first reading of the proposed change and a public hearing on it.

• The board also recommended the council approve a draft amendment for recreational and medical marijuana.

The city of Auburn has an application pending for a new medical marijuana storefront in the small former bank building in the Auburn Mall parking lot. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal Buy this PhotoAuburn Mall news?

The city has an application pending for a medical marijuana storefront in the former bank building in the Auburn Mall parking lot.

Deputy City Clerk Kelsey Earle said the space is an allowable zone for it and isn’t within a setback from other businesses.


The city hasn’t limited the number of medical marijuana shops allowed, but staff are working through an approval backlog.

“Applications for any new businesses are on first-come, first-served basis and will be reviewed once all grandfathered businesses have received final decisions,” Earle said.

Planned housing

Two properties sold on Pine Street are integral to Community Concept’s plans to build 66 housing units in downtown Lewiston.

The former bank building and former Sun Journal office at 40 Pine St. sold to Lewiston/Auburn Community Housing from the estate of James R. Costello Sr. for $377,000, according to Mainebiz.

And the brick building at 54-60 Pine St. sold to the same buyer by C’s Inc. for $203,000, according to the paper.


The buildings have almost 1.3 acres between them. Chris Paszyc of The Boulos Co. brokered both deals last month.

National shout-out

Taste of Home named Val’s Drive-In on Sabattus Street in Lewiston one of the “best old school drive-ins around the country.”

Elizabeth Marcotte delivers an order Tuesday night at the popular Lewiston Drive-In. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

“There’s a lot of drive-ins still in America and I was pretty happy to see we made the top 20,” said owner Chris Lawrence.

Chris Lawrence is the third generation to run Val’s in Lewiston and with his wife Gail still work there day and night. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

His grandfather, Val, started the drive-in in the 1970s after breaking away from A&W Root Beer. Lawrence has owned it for about 16 years and his parents ran it before him.

“We have really good prices on our food, we have great specials, buy-one-get-one-free days,” he said. “People still like the nostalgic carhop service and it’s pretty easy when you have children.”


Last weekend, Val’s held its fifth annual eating contest.

The challenge? Down six hamburgers as fast as you can.

Eric Davin walked away the champ in a field of six at 2 minutes, 36 seconds. All five years, either Davin or Cruize Garland has won, Lawrence said.

“The other (competitors) have two burgers left by the time these two are done,” he said. “Eric won by quite a bit this year. The last two years, it was neck and neck.”

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

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