A sign for Splittin’ Wood Axe Throwing is on the window Thursday at the Lewiston Mall where the new business will be opening soon. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Axing, wagging, building, altering — it’s an all-Lewiston Buzz.

Let’s start with the axes.

First up: Splittin’ Wood Axe Throwing is coming to the Lewiston Mall.

Christopher and Julie Nichols are opening in the former Olympia Sports space later this summer, offering six lanes of targets, plus pizza.

The city council also approved a liquor license last month. The couple has set a two-beer maximum while throwing.

“It seems like (the mall) is coming back,” said Christopher Nichols on Thursday. “Driving for FedEx, I’ve seen all the vacant areas and … this is the one spot that I saw that had the measurements that I need.”

Single lanes are sized for one or two throwers, double-lanes for larger parties.

Nicholas said they hope to be a draw for date nights, girls’ and guys’ nights out and parents with kids.

“We’d love to show everybody how to throw safely and let everyone know they can do it,” he said.


Doggone Fun Doggy Daycare at 528 Lincoln Street, seen Thursday in Lewiston, will be expanding its operation. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Doggone Fun Doggy Daycare is growing.

The 11-year-old business at 528 Lincoln St. is undergoing a $210,000 expansion, adding a 36-foot-by-55-foot space, new lighting and heating.

Owner Bruce Bilodeau said the rooms for the tiny and medium-sized dogs will get bigger, a hill will be used more for the larger dogs and fences will be reconfigured.

He said the daycare, which averages 80 dogs, is building back up to pre-pandemic numbers.

“We’ve always been taking on new dogs, but absolutely, I think the COVID reaction of everyone getting pups while they were isolated, I think we’re definitely starting to see more of that,” Bilodeau said. “The boarding piece (is) still way low. I’m predicting in the next two months when everybody starts to release the hounds and travel more and more, you’re going to see that happen.”

He said the new project is just about continually making the daycare space nicer.

Lil’ Grooming Shop moved into a house on the property earlier this month, adding convenience to dog owners who can get their pet groomed while they’re at daycare.

Bilodeau said he worked for a long time in construction and considers running a doggie daycare “an absolute joy.”

“The people are phenomenal that drop off the dogs and they are constantly showing their joy with us and bringing us treats and stuff,” he said. “Over 30 years in one industry, I never got a Christmas gift. This industry they swamp me with Christmas gifts; I’m a little embarrassed because I’m not used to it — and they take care of my staff.”


Lewiston’s having a commercially busy spring. Among the project permits out of the code office in April:

• Construction of the 35-unit Gauvreau Place at 82 Pine St., a $6,105,000 project by Avesta Housing for Community Concepts. Residents are expected to move in next spring.

• A $60,000 renovation for Shaw’s Supermarket at 27 East Ave., creating a new Drive Up & Go space inside the store.

• Major window replacements at Bates College: One a $114,550 project replacing 136 windows at 56 Campus Ave., and the other a $25,980 project replacing 42 windows at 27 Frye St.



The Continental Mill along the Androscoggin River in Lewiston is seen in the aerial photo from 2019. Sun Journal file photo

The Historic Preservation Review Board on Thursday afternoon unanimously approved a Certificate of Appropriateness for a potential new development at the Continental Mill: Picker House Lofts.

Szanton Monks Properties is behind the 72-unit mixed income housing project at 2 Cedar St. and has a purchase and sale agreement in place with Chinburg Properties for 76,500-square feet of the massive mill, according to board filings.

“Our business model is to wait until we are ready to start construction to close on a piece of property,” Szanton’s Amy Cullen said Thursday.

As part of the project, the mill’s No. 5 Boiler House and Card Room Building would be taken down to restore a wall of windows, letting in more natural light.

“Not only does removing the small buildings allow for restoration of the exterior of No. 3 Picker House, but it makes the first floor spaces far more usable,” Travis Nadeau, an architect with Platz Associates, wrote in a memo to the board.

Szanton has been behind both Lewiston’s The Lofts at Bates Mill and The Hartley Block.

Next stop: The Lewiston Planning Board with site and subdivision plans.

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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