This week the Buzz is opening, expanding, selling and imbibing Olympic-size pools of beer. Allegedly.

First up: The Lake Auburn Community Center is going up for sale.

The six-plus acres on North Auburn Road abuts hundreds of acres on two sides and hosts about 1,000 visitors a year who walk and bike through to enjoy the woods, according to Dan Bilodeau, president of the Lake Auburn Watershed Neighborhood Association, which owns the property.

“We have always nicknamed it the ‘Gateway to the Lake Auburn community forest,'” Bilodeau said Wednesday.

Preserving the historic barn on the site has been a seven-year project and it’s now in need of a $55,000 foundation and floor as a next step, he said.

Selling was first “on the table at a meeting three years ago and we’ve been weighing out all our other options since then,” Bilodeau added.

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Unable to raise those funds, the group wrote Wednesday on social media, “It is with mixed emotions that we announce the Community Center property will go on the market for sale in the coming week.”

The group would ideally like to sell to another nonprofit, but if not, Bilodeau can also see someone buying it to build a single-family home. It is, though, being sold with easements that would protect trails.

The property will be listed for $125,000, but “we will take less . . . with commitments in the barn investment and/or public benefit,” he said. “Most people in that area close the trails down when they buy, so we protected these trails so the average person could just go out there and recreate and have access to the beautiful sites around Lake Auburn.”

It will remain open daily at least through March from 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

FORMERLY IN AUBURN

Sayvepen Sengsavang displays one of his signature dishes at Mu Noi Brunch in Auburn in 2020. The restaurant closed in the summer of 2021 to focus on growth in Bethel. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal file photo

The owners of Mu Noi Brunch closed the popular Center Street restaurant in June after almost a year in business to focus on their original Bethel location, teasing at the time about opportunities for growth.

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That growth is almost official: Le Mu Eats is moving from a food trailer on Mechanic Street into the former home of DiCocoa’s Bakery and Cafe at 119 Main St. in Bethel.

DiCocoa’s closed in July after 26 years when the owner retired.

Le Mu’s opening plans will be announced soon, with the new space featuring a long bar made out of thousands of epoxied chopsticks.

The menu features both Laotian-American and modern American cuisine.

Elise Sengsavang said Wednesday that the hours will be Thursday to Saturday from noon to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for brunch service.

AND BACK TO AUBURN

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Vision Care of Maine plans to renovate the former Huber Associates at 637 Minot Ave. in Auburn to create a new ambulatory surgery center. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

Vision Care of Maine is putting down roots.

The Bangor-based practice with several locations statewide is renovating an 8,719-square- foot former physical therapy office at 637 Minot Ave.

Through an agreement with Dr. Mark Varnum, Vision Care of Maine staff now come from Bangor once or twice a month to see patients at Varnum’s office, adjacent to Eyemart Express on Center Street, Chief Operating Officer Cristy Hewitt said.

“He was having difficulty getting his patients into specialists when he identified a problem, so he asked us to come down here,” she said. “Obviously, patients living that far don’t always want to travel to Bangor for surgical procedures and not all of the facilities in that area are offering eye services for surgery.”

So the decision was made to create an ambulatory surgery center here. Planning is in the early stages for Minot Avenue with the tentative goal of opening in about a year.

“Right now the plan is to staff it with ophthalmologists that currently work in our Bangor office,” Hewitt said. “We would love to offer optometry services as well and we are recruiting, they’re just very difficult to find and recruit into Maine right now.”

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BUT IS IT CRAFT BREW?

Maybe take this stat with a grain of salt, or a bowl of peanuts, as it were.

PRPioneer.com analyzed the number of gallons of beer consumed annually by state, measured that against the adult population, surveyed people to ask how much of that was consumed between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, jogged all that math and this week released the number of Olympic-size pools of beer each state consumes at the holidays.

In Maine, it’s 49.8 pools.

Weighted for adult population, that put Maine 10th-highest in the country, according to the website. Montana was tops.

In sheer volume, California came in at 936.3 pools.

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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