Maine jail to be turned into restaurant, bakery

Posted Jan. 23, 2009, at 12:44 p.m.

SKOWHEGAN, Maine — The old Somerset County Jail will soon have a new owner who hopes to open a restaurant and bakery on the site that used to house prisoners.

Somerset County commissioners have approved selling the jail for $65,000 — less than a third of the original asking price — to a Skowhegan artist Amber Lambke. The deal is scheduled to close on March 30.

Lambke says she and her business partner will turn the 14,000-square-foot Victorian-style jailhouse into a multi-use facility with a grist mill, bakery, restaurant and small retail store to sell bread and local fruits, vegetables, cheese, meat and dairy products.

The jail, which was built in 1897 in downtown Skowhegan, shut down last fall when a new 200-bed county jail opened in Madison.