Dunkin’ Donuts, Dairy Queen set sights on Ellsworth

Posted March 22, 2014, at 12:08 p.m.
Customers make their way into Dunkin' Donuts at the corner of Route 1A and Forest Avenue in Ellsworth. Plans are in the works to open a third Dunkin' Donuts at the intersection of Kingsland Crossing and Route 3. In addition, Dairy Queen is looking to build a new “Grill & Chill” restaurant on High Street.
Customers make their way into Dunkin' Donuts at the corner of Route 1A and Forest Avenue in Ellsworth. Plans are in the works to open a third Dunkin' Donuts at the intersection of Kingsland Crossing and Route 3. In addition, Dairy Queen is looking to build a new “Grill & Chill” restaurant on High Street.

ELLSWORTH, Maine — Two well-known retail food firms have submitted plans to open new locations in Hancock County’s largest municipality.

Dairy Queen is looking to build a new “Grill & Chill” restaurant on High Street, and a Dunkin’ Donuts franchise owner is looking to open another store in Ellsworth on a site at the intersection of Kingsland Crossing and Route 3 that he has been eyeing for years.

Bangor businessman Lou Lima, who already owns a Dunkin’ Donuts by Mill Mall in Ellsworth and another inside the local Walmart supercenter on Myrick Street, had proposed last year to construct a 4,000 square foot building on the Kingsland Crossing site and to put a Dunkin’ Donuts shop inside, along with possibly another business.

Michele Gagnon, Ellsworth’s city planner, said Thursday that Lima since has decided to revise the plans. The current proposal is for a 2,400 square foot building that will house only Dunkin’ Donuts. It will include a drive through window and will be accessible from Kingsland Crossing. There will be no entrance or exit directly onto Route 3, according to a plan on file in the city’s planning office.

Lima owns three Dunkin’ Donut shops in Bangor and one in Bucksport in addition to the two in Ellsworth. Plans for the proposed Dunkin’ Donuts in Ellsworth will be reviewed by the planning board when it meets at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 2.

Also in the works is a Dairy Queen that would be built on a site on High Street next to Cadillac Mountain Sports where an Irving gas station used to be located.

According to a sketch plan on file in the city’s planning office, the Dairy Queen “Grill & Chill” will include 47 seats in a 1,800 square-foot building. A drive-through window and 20 outdoor seats are planned, as are approximately 35 parking spaces.

Gagnon said the Dairy Queen proposal does not require approval by the planning board because the lot already is developed and functioned as a gas station for several years. Dwight Tilton, the city’s code enforcement officer, will be responsible for making sure the project meets local development standards, she said.

The Dunkin’ Donuts planned for Kingsland Crossing would be built on a lot that has not been developed, Gagnon added. It will have an impact on city infrastructure and services at a location where none has existed before, she said, which is why it requires planning board approval.

According to the Dairy Queen website, the chain already has more than two dozen stores in Maine, including two in Bangor and one each in Brewer and Old Town. Attempts this past week to find out when construction might begin on the one proposed for Ellsworth were unsuccessful.

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