Cole Farms restaurant in Gray is scheduled to close Jan. 13 after 68 years in business. John Patriquin/Portland Press Herald

GRAY — The owner of Cole Farms announced Monday the popular family restaurant will close in a couple of weeks after almost 70 years in business.

Brad Pollard said it has become “increasingly difficult” over the past few years to maintain the successful formula the business once had.

Known for its homemade pies and home-cooked dinners, Pollard’s family has owned and operated the restaurant since it opened 68 years ago.

Pollard said he has worked at the restaurant for almost 50 years, since he was 10 years old.

“It’s been hard to weather recent changes and we can no longer operate Cole Farms like we have in the past,” he said. “It’s with a heavy heart that I announce that it’s time to say goodbye. It’s been a tough and emotional decision to decide to close, but it is the right one.”

Cole Farms’ last day is expected to be Monday, Jan. 13.

Pollard said Cole Farms is “a great property with a lot of potential. Perhaps someone with vision and fresh ideas can transform it into something new that can serve the community for another 68 years.”

The business closed last January for a few weeks for renovations, which, Pollard described at the time as an effort to “reinvent” the business, making it more of a draw for a younger crowd.

Changes included renovating the interior, redesigning the kitchen and adding a brick pizza oven and small market.

“The alternative would be closing up,” Pollard told the Lakes Region Weekly in January. “We don’t want to do that.”

Cole Farms posted news of its impending closure on its Facebook page Monday afternoon. Within an hour, it had generated 350 comments and had been shared almost 1,000 times.

Many of the comments came from longtime customers, who shared fond memories of annual trips to the restaurant.

One commenter, Dawne Morrell, wrote: “This just breaks my heart. I have been coming there every summer for 43 years of my life while vacationing at my family’s cottage on Little Sebago. I am (on) the verge of tears right now, that’s how much it means in our family! I almost (want to) make the (4-hour) drive for one last meal and a gallon of Cole’s dressing!”

Pollard said customers with gift certificates can use them before Jan. 13 or bring them in for a refund.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: