The staff at Brian’s. Noah Carlton


BETHEL — Brian’s in Bethel is the recipient of a $5,000 grant from the Maine Restaurant Relief Fund.

During a livecast from O’Maine Studios in Portland on Sept. 20, owners Brian and Jessica Nichols were one of four restaurateurs randomly selected for a grant. They join a half dozen restaurants across the state to receive this needed financial support since the fund launched this summer.

“Knowing that we will have to continue at a reduced capacity for the foreseeable future, this grant will help us maintain our operational costs which have only risen due to the implementation of additional Covid-compliance measures,” said co-owner Jessica Nichols.

Made possible by the HospitalityMaine Education Foundation, donations stream in during the recurrent live fundraisers, which include a cook-along. A bulk of the grants are made possible through corporate sponsorships from Hannaford, Bangor Savings Bank, Cross Insurance and Oakhurst.

By December, Re-Up ME intends to dispense 100 grants, said Rory Strunk, CEO of O’Maine Studios. “The grants give the restaurant owners hope and a spirit to fight another day,” said Strunk. The chef-lead effort seeks to fill the financial gap allowing restaurateurs to make it to next summer.

“Re-Up ME places a spotlight on the struggles facing all our independent restaurants across the state,” said Steve Hewins, president and CEO of HospitalityMaine. “We hope to help as many restaurants as possible, of all sizes, survive through the winter and sustain themselves into the future.”

There is still time to apply or donate at []

Here’s the link to the broadcast:

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