Artwork hangs on the walls of The Curio, a new art gallery opening on Lisbon Street in Lewiston. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

LEWISTON — Lewiston native Corey DuFour fell in love with the art deco style of 110 Lisbon St. while skateboarding by as a teen.

Sheri Withers Hollenbeck and her husband, Stanley, explored buying it eight years ago. The building needed a lot of work and the timing wasn’t quite right.

Two years ago, during a Sunday Indie Market inside the former Lamey Wellehan shoe store, they got to talking.

“We both, oddly enough, shared a dream in one day opening an art and music hub, and at that location,” DuFour said.

This month, they will.

The Curio: Art, Ale & Oddities plans to open with a takeout menu, outdoor seating and allow a small number of people in at a time to shop a new market and take in the two-year renovation.

“It was very much a time capsule,” Hollenbeck said. “Nothing had been in here or utilized or renovated since the late ’70s, early ’80s. So there was a lot of lime and avocado green rugs. We basically had to gut it and change everything up.”

Sheri and Stanley Hollenbeck stand behind the counter of their small restaurant bar in The Curio on Lisbon Street in Lewiston. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

The three owners and artists largely self-financed the project. DuFour said he worked nights, 50 to 60 hours a week, as funds allowed, starting with the removal of a mezzanine and freight elevator.

“Also, I had to salvage all of the material, that was very important to me,” he said. “Probably 80% to 90% of the material I used in the construction of The Curio was repurposed from the original Lamey Wellehan. The (elevator) gates I incorporated into the balcony. A lot of the wood from the elevator shaft was oak, so it was nice to use that. Though slightly twisted and difficult to work with, I still incorporated a lot of that into the building itself.”

Some of the “acres and acres” of shoe shelving went into a new bar. A hallway came out to make way for a bathroom. A balcony went in, all maintaining the art deco style of the 1936 building.

DuFour said he considers the centerpiece of the renovation a spiral staircase built by his father, Donald, a Lewiston native and master carpenter and metal craftsman.

“We incorporated some of the black walnut shelving that I had discovered when demoing the mezzanine in the back of the store,” DuFour said. “He had some aged ash already. I’m so grateful that he built that for me, it’s a work of art.”

Eventually, the balcony space will be available for hosting parties and events, Hollenbeck said. Eventual plans also call for a large projection screen showing silent 1920s movies and documentaries from local college and high school students, musical performances, a working bar and retail space in the basement level.

Corey Dufour stands on the balcony of The Curio in Lewiston. Dufour, along with partners Sheri and Staley Hollenbeck, will open the art gallery and small restaurant in the former Lamey Wellehan shoe store on Lisbon Street in Lewiston. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

During renovations, many unique publications were found in the walls of the Lamey Wellehan store, which eventually made it into a decoupage wall covering in the new gallery, The Curio, on Lisbon Street in Lewiston. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

For now, it will open later this month with outdoor seating, first-floor gallery space and a market with pickles, cheese, crackers, jellies and fresh produce, and a takeout menu that includes soups, salads, sandwiches, homemade sauces and spreads, and chicken pot pies to go.

Hollenbeck will do most of the cooking and Stanley, who has also worked at Baxter’s Pub and the former Marche, will run the bar once it opens.

“We want it to be a community space highlighting all of our different loves of art, craft, the art deco period,” Hollenbeck said. “It’ll take us a little time to get up to what we had fully envisioned, but it was nice, where we hadn’t opened up yet, it did give us a little bit of time to take a step back and see how we could safely open and change up our business model a little bit.”

The Curio: Art, Ale & Oddities will be open Monday to Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The exact date is pending additional direction from the city on details like the number of tables they can have outside, she said.

The three owners have a lease agreement with a purchase option on the building and hope to someday renovate the apartments upstairs for themselves.

“Between the three of us, we have such a connection to the downtown, with the different bars and restaurants that Stan has worked at, Corey growing up here, and then my work with the city and public art, we’re really excited to see our friends and customers again in some capacity,” Hollenbeck said. “The community’s been really excited and patiently waiting for us to open, so it’s really exciting and seems closer than it ever has, so that’s a great feeling.”

Little details, like this child-sized working piano, were donated by friends and purchased at secondhand stores for The Curio art gallery on Lisbon Street in Lewiston. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal Buy this Photo


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