BANGOR, Maine - The Baldacci family, whose members include Gov. John Baldacci, announced Wednesday the sale of the property on which Baldacci’ s Restaurant is located.
Despite the sale, the restaurant specializing in Italian food will live on, though in a new, yet-to-be-determined location, according to Robert Baldacci Jr., the governor’ s brother and a real estate developer.
The property, located off Broadway at 12 Alden St., has housed the family’ s restaurant for 34 years. It was known until recently as Momma Baldacci’ s. Before that, the restaurant was located downtown.
According to Baldacci, the property has been sold to an abutter, Lovley Development of Newport.
Lovley Development owns the property at 543 Broadway, which ironically houses the Bangor Victory 2008 Campaign Office, which serves as the central Maine headquarters for Republican presidential candidate John McCain’ s campaign. Gov. Baldacci is a Democrat.
According to Robert Baldacci Jr., the real estate closing took place Wednesday in Newport, where Lovley Development, owned by entrepreneur Greg Lovley, is headquartered.
Though the terms of the sale were not immediately disclosed, the deal involved the property only, and did not involve the restaurant business or any related equipment, according to Baldacci.
“The business is going to carry on,” Baldacci said. “The sale of the property will give us the opportunity to reorganize and relocate to another part of the city. We’ ve got a great opportunity to kind of move on and we’ re excited about it.”
According to Baldacci, Lovley wanted to acquire the Baldacci property, which is a little more than an acre, because it would allow him to develop a larger, single-lot development on the site, which fronts the busy Broadway commercial strip and is handy to the Interstate 95 interchange.
Baldacci said Lovley had not yet formulated specific plans for the site.
“It could be a bank, it could be any number of things,” Baldacci said, adding that both parcels are commercially zoned.
Baldacci said Baldacci’ s Restaurant will remain open for “another few weeks and then will kind of wind down.”
The temporary closure likely will be a low-key affair without a great deal of fanfare, he said.
“We’ re more focused on getting our new location up and running,” he said.
Baldacci said it wasn’ t yet clear when the family eatery will reopen or where, though he said the next location definitely will be within city limits.
“Bangor is our home,” he said. “It has been since 1933, when our grandparents started the Baltimore Restaurant” underneath the Joshua Chamberlain Bridge, which spans the Penobscot River and connects Bangor to Brewer.
“We’ re looking at a number of locations in Bangor,” he said, adding that the family also is thinking about developing a line of food products that would carry the Baldacci brand, like the breadsticks they sold when his mother, Rosemary Baldacci, was alive.
Asked if he was still eyeing Bangor Waterfront, Baldacci said, “We’ re not ruling that out. We’ re very interested in the waterfront.”
Four years ago, Baldacci was involved in a partnership that sought to develop a brick-oven pizzeria and pasta restaurant on Front Street between the two city-owned parking lots at Bangor Waterfront.
He partnered with Fred Forsley, founder and president of Shipyard Brewing Co. and an owner of Sea Dog Ventures Inc., which operates the Sea Dog brew pub, also on Front Street.
The two were granted exclusive negotiating rights. However, the project did not come to pass, and the parcel remains available for development.
An earlier version of their plan called for a second level, housing six condominium units. Forsley and Baldacci decided to scrap the residential aspect of their project in large part due to shoreland zoning and related restrictions.