Grab a napkin — this week, it’s an all-eats Buzz.

First up: After 16 years, Buddy T’s Restaurant and Pub is coming to a close.

As of Wednesday, it’s Melissa’s Pub + Grill.

Owner Buddy Taylor put the restaurant up for sale about 18 months ago, ready to take a break.

Taylor, 56, started the eatery in 2005 after years working in the restaurant business, starting as a dishwasher at age 14.

He opened Buddy T’s in the former Chances Pub in the Marketplace Mall on Main Street. Taylor said he’s watched kids grow up, mourned when regulars have died.

“There’s probably five to 10 customers that have met there, they got married out of there,” he said. “All in all, it’s been really enjoyable. The last couple days I’ve been thanking so many people for their support for the last 16 years I was there.”

He ran the bar and prepped and handmade dressings, hand-cut fries and homemade soups. But after all those years, “I need to relax and enjoy life,” Taylor said Tuesday.

Melissa Goucher and her husband had been Buddy T’s regulars who loved the food. After working as a nurse for 17 years, she said she was ready for a career change and looking for a restaurant to take over, something she didn’t have to start from the ground up.

Goucher, who lives in Winthrop, said Buddy T’s had the right location and right price. She’s been asked by several people if the purchase has anything to do with the state’s vaccine mandate for health care workers, and it doesn’t. She was vaccinated last February.

“It’s because this is my passion, this is my dream,” she said.

Goucher plans to keep the menu the same as Buddy T’s to start and over time add a few healthy options. She also plans to draw inspiration from Taylor.

“He’s a friendly face and he picked on my husband and I every time we came in,” she said. “Joke around, tease us, tease my husband mostly. Even if he’s behind the bar, and that’s usually where he is, he makes a point to come out and say hello to people and I really want that to continue. I think it’s important for the owner to walk around and see that people are happy, and if they’re not, fix it.”

She’s keeping the hours the same, seven days a week, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

“(Wednesday) is going to be a very emotional day,” she said. “I think I’m going to cry when this all happens. Not tears of sadness, tears of joy.”

A medium-sized chocolate lobster claw from Maine Gourmet Chocolates in Auburn. The company had eight claws appear in an episode of the Food Network show “Chopped” last week. Submitted photo

LIGHTS! CAMERAS! CHOCOLATE LOBSTERS!

Stephanie Bernatchez, the owner of Maine Gourmet Chocolates in Auburn, took an order last April for eight medium-sized solid dark chocolate lobster claws that quickly seemed curious after the customer mentioned offhand, “I’m not sure when they’re going to air.”

“I thought, ‘air’?” Bernatchez said.

And they did, on Aug. 31, in an episode of the Food Network’s “Chopped.”

“I was like, oh, my god,” she said. “It was just so exciting.”

In the episode, a pair of the claws, which measure about 7-inches long, were included in the final dessert challenge. Two chefs were tasked with making a dish that included the claws, figs, cured beef tongue and grilling butter.

“(One chef) made a chocolate beef tongue ice cream,” Bernatchez said. “I wouldn’t be able to eat it. The guy who was (judging) it tasted the beef tongue and spit it out in the trash.”

She isn’t sure how the customer working with the show found her. The national exposure could potentially lead to more sales — “simpler things have brought people in to order,” she said.

The claws themselves, which come in several sizes, have a cool backstory: Bernatchez’s father was a lobster fisherman and her husband made the candy molds from the claws of lobsters that her father caught 40-plus years ago.

“They’re quite extraordinary pieces because you’re not going to get them just anywhere,” she said.

Work is done Tuesday at Crown Fried Chicken & Kabob on College Street in Lewiston. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

NEW RESTAURANT ALERT

There’s a new sign up at 81 College St. in Lewiston for Crown Fried Chicken & Kabob.

The eatery applied for a business license on Aug. 16, according to the city clerk.

No other details were available Tuesday, when work was being done on the building. The phone was not answered and an email for comment wasn’t returned.

It’s not entirely new to town: Crown Fried Chicken had a short-lived run in 2015 in the former Tim Hortons on Lisbon Street.

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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