ELLSWORTH, Maine — Governor’s Restaurant and Bakery, the Old Town-based chain with five locations around the state, is expanding to Ellsworth.
Governor’s plans to move into the High Street location formerly occupied by Friendly’s restaurant before the start of the summer tourism season, creating more than 50 jobs and filling a now-vacant building within the city’s prime commercial district on Routes 1 and 3.
Randy Wadleigh, COO and president of Governor’s Restaurant and Bakery, said they have set a target opening date of the last week of April or early May but said the new restaurant “will be open by Mother’s Day, for sure.”
Wadleigh said he was eyeing the High Street building within a week of Friendly’s sudden closure in October. Friendly’s closed two other Maine locations, in Freeport and Lewiston, that day as the company prepared to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
“We love northern and eastern Maine, and Ellsworth was one of two communities on our target list,” Wadleigh said Wednesday. The second is Augusta, he said.
Like other Governor’s restaurants, the Ellsworth location will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Wadleigh said the restaurant will be company-owned rather than a franchise location.
Started as an ice cream stand named Creemee’s in 1960, Governor’s is known for its home style cooking and assortment of often generous-sized desserts. In addition to the Old Town restaurant, Governor’s operates eateries and bakeries in Bangor, Waterville and Lewiston as well as a franchise location in Presque Isle.
The company did not renew a franchise lease at its South Portland location last October because the company is focusing most of its attention on the northern and eastern part of the state, Wadleigh said
Ellsworth is “closer to our nest, meaning the Old Town and Bangor area,” he said.
Governor’s will lease the building from the MacQuinn family that owns Maine Coast Mall.