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BREWER, Maine — A local dentist has purchased the Schooners Seafood and Steakhouse building and plans to convert the second floor of the structure into office space and lease the lower level to a restaurant, he said Thursday.
Schooners quietly closed its doors on Sunday, according to Dr. Brad Rand, the new owner of the building located at 5 South Main Street. A sign on the door Thursday stated the eatery would be closed for at least three or four weeks for renovations.
Rand runs a dentistry practice at 373 Wilson St. alongside his father, Dr. Craig Rand. Together they have more than 10,000 patients and expect that could expand with the new office space, according to Brad Rand. The dentists plan to invest about $400,000 during renovations.
Rand declined to say how much they spent to purchase the property.
“I could imagine this being a really great spot for some professional offices, and it could make a great spot for the right restaurant,” Brad Rand said.
Schooners closed “with fairly little fanfare” on Sunday, according to Rand. The restaurant posted a notice that said, “We will be closed for some renovations and installation of a new fire sprinkler system. Due to these renovations, we will be unable to provide lunch or dinner services.”
Attempts to contact Michael Kessock, Schooners’ owner, were unsuccessful on Thursday. Kessock purchased the restaurant in 2011, changing its name from Muddy Rudder to Schooners the next year.
A city official was aware of the sale of the building.
Rand said the upper floor, with about 4,000 square feet of space, will be converted into 11 treatment rooms and office space, as well as a consultation and reception area. The lower floor will require “fairly little renovation,” he said, and likely will be leased out to a new restaurant.
Four restaurateurs have expressed interest in the space, according to Rand. He said he is “still looking for the right fit.”
Rand said the first floor is available for lease at any time and won’t be affected by renovations to the top floor, which are expected to begin next week and wrap up this summer.
Craig Rand started Rand Dentistry in 1979, according to his son.
Rand said he hopes to move his practice to the former restaurant by mid-July. Previously, Schooners used the second floor to accommodate large gatherings and overflow dining space.
The big second-floor windows should make for great office spaces with some of the best possible views of the Penobscot River, Rand said.
“It’s quite a unique spot for a dental office,” he said.