A worker from Burnt Ends Barbecue in Lewiston walks into the future home of the restaurant Tuesday in the Center Street Plaza at 120 Center St. in Auburn. Burnt Ends is relocating from Sabattus Street in Lewiston and hopes to be open by the end of the month. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

It’s all about location, location, location according to Burnt Ends Barbecue owner and smoke master Kevin Cunningham. So, he’s packing up his smoker and trading it in for a new one from Texas, as he relocates his popular barbecue restaurant from Sabattus Street in Lewiston to 120 Center St., Auburn, in the same plaza as Gipper’s Sports Grill.

Renovation work is under way, and Cunningham said Wednesday that he hopes to have the new restaurant open by the end of January — fingers crossed for permits and inspections.

It’s a massive space at 5,000 square feet in the dining room area alone. That means Burnt Ends will be able to seat at least 200 — compared to its current capacity of 50 to 60 seats — and offer an event space.

The new Burnt Ends will feature a 25-seat bar with plans for full liquor service, something the old restaurant did not have. Also new will be four cornhole courts, and Cunningham said he plans to expand their catering business.

“It’s awesome, absolutely awesome,” Cunningham said of the new location. He said the last two years have allowed him to familiarize people in the Lewiston-Auburn region with a taste of a traditional barbecue restaurant, including ordering at the front. “We bring it to you,” after placing your order he added.

He said he heard from people way too many times about being too far out, and he hopes this move will resolve that.


Burnt Ends Barbecue owner Kevin Cunningham shows off his smoker Tuesday at his soon-to-be new location at 120 Center St. in Auburn. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

Cunningham had to order an indoor smoker, because there is not enough space outdoors to locate a secure outdoor one. And he’s going big — purchasing a new smoker from what he said was the oldest smoker maker in Texas, incorporating a rotisserie to smoke pulled pork, brisket, ribs and chicken. Did I mention the cornbread and all the sides?

Cunningham said he is very excited to be neighbors with Gipper’s, for whom he said he has a lot of respect.

With the addition of the bar and expanded capacity, Burnt Ends will need to hire bartenders and extra staff as its gets closer to opening, so keep your eyes open for the hiring note.

The new Burnt Ends will be open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. or later, with plans to expand the hours in the future.


Sam Camino holds up a favorite painting by local artist Holly Whittemore on Thursday at her shop Shenanigans By Sam in Lewiston. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

Shenanigans LLC to open brick and mortar store in Lewiston


It’s kind of a new concept in retail, incorporating small goods, handcrafted artisan offerings with a little bit of the occult thrown in. Owner Sam Camino calls it “a witchy kind of vibe” that she calls Shenanigans LLC.

A selection of many different sided dice will be available at Shenanigans in Lewiston. The store’s grand opening is Feb. 2 and 3. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

The description of the new store on her Facebook page calls it, “Witchy, Cottage core, Nerdy, Gift Shop.”

It’s holding a soft opening at 906 Sabattus St., Suite 1, on Jan. 12 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The grand opening is planned for Feb. 2 and 3. Hours will be limited to Fridays and Saturdays to begin with, but Camino hopes to expand them as the business gets going.

She had a storefront in Gorham this summer, but said the rent was just too high to make it work.

Camino has a full-time job and a digital services business called Shenanigans by Sam.

Some of the products Shenanigans LLC will carry include local artisans who make soaps, daily botanicals for skin and hair care, Iris is Beauty beach finds, art, books, alchemy and curios.


Prices range from $5 to just over $100.

For more information visit Shenanigans LLC’s website and Facebook page.

The wall of bath products is fully stocked Thursday at the new Shenanigans shop in Lewiston. The store’s grand opening is Feb. 2 and 3. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

Speakeasy planned for downtown Lewiston

A new speakeasy has been permitted by the city of Lewiston at 152 Lisbon St. on the corner of Ash Street. EAT Holdings of Westbrook is listed as the owner of the building and soon-to-be retro bar.

The vacant building was purchased in 2021, according to real estate transaction records, and the permitting process began with the city in 2022.

RDS Architects in Portland is managing the project, which the permit said includes a new residence at the office space on the second floor and a new speakeasy bar at the business space on the ground floor. There is no exterior work planned, however, the permit notes that exterior doors were not included in the pending approval from the Historic Preservation Review Board.

The cost of the renovations is estimated at $125,000.

The Buzz offers quick hits about trending area business happenings. Have a Buzzable tip? Contact business writer Christopher Wheelock at 689-2817 or cwheelock@sunjournal.com

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