YARMOUTH, Maine — A downtown coffee shop rescued nearly two years ago by a group of local investors has closed after a plan to sell the business fell through.
The Royal Bean closed Aug. 10, after the buyer backed out the day before the sale was to be finalized, owners said. Because the staff had already been let go, they were forced to shut the Yarmouth Crossing Drive shop.
The store was bought by its current owners in November 2012. It is equally owned by 17 local investors. Co-owner Kevin Haley said none of them was able to dedicate enough time to the coffeehouse collective to keep it running.
“The ownership group got along great, but it was none of our full-time jobs,” Haley said. “We didn’t have that single person who was going to dedicate their whole professional life to it, and that’s what it needs.”
Haley said he doesn’t know why the prospective buyer backed out, but that it was too late to keep the shop open. The sale was supposed to close Aug. 1, he said, and much of the staff had already moved on and found new jobs.
“We didn’t have much of an alternative at that point,” he said.
As for the regular customers, Haley said they have been very understanding. Haley said he hopes the business can reopen as a coffee shop because it was a local hangout.
“I think it’s become a good local brand,” Haley said.
The shop stands dark, with a sign in the door letting people know what happened.
“What we had intended to be a smooth transition has now become a hurdle that we are unable to overcome,” the sign reads. “Given the compressed time frame and limitations we find ourselves in, we are unable to manage and run the Royal Bean in a way that makes sense and serve the Yarmouth community well.”
Although Haley hopes the shop will be sold to someone who will keep it open as a coffee shop, it will come down to who offers the best price. Haley said he didn’t want to disclose how much the owners are hoping to get.
“The good news is that we have a handful of interested buyers,” he said.