MILLINOCKET, Maine — Pelletier Loggers Family Restaurant Bar and Grill opened in March 2010 when the Pelletier family was riding a wave of fame thanks to their starring in the Discovery Channel’s “American Loggers” reality-TV program.
The show, which debuted the year before, featured the large Franco-American family and the challenges of running a logging business in the unforgiving northern Maine woods. It went off the air in 2011, after three seasons.
The restaurant carried on until last week. Owner Eldon Pelletier closed the place for good Aug. 10. He said a lack of traffic downtown was the primary reason, although fans of the show still came for snapshots with the program’s stars and to sample the restaurant’s American fare.
“It was quiet. I just want to put my attention somewhere else rather than with the restaurant people,” Pelletier said Thursday. “There are still people coming around and taking pictures. It was mixed. It was just the economy. Just look around town. You go down Main Street at night and there is no one there.”
With winter and the usual seasonal decline in business coming, it was time to close the doors, Pelletier said.
The restaurant, which employed 15 full- and part-time workers, was among several diversifications the family launched during the run of the show. The other efforts include an ongoing trucker’s insurance agency in Bangor and a logging truckbed manufacturer on the Golden Road.
The family also helped host truck pulls and a downtown bikers rally and helped build the Katahdin region’s first networked all-terrain-vehicle trail to bolster the area’s economy.
The restaurant had been on the market once before, for a few months about a year ago, listing for close to $1 million, according to Renee Hudgens, a broker of Realty of Maine of Bangor. Now it lists at $599,000, and Hudgens has hopes it will sell soon.
The two-story restaurant was extensively made over with more than $1 million in renovations. It has an extra dance floor and bar, with a second-story outdoor patio, an elevator and two freezers, she said.
“It has a unique atmosphere, very pretty, and has that logger feel,” Hudgens said. “It feels like Maine and it is close to the mountain and would be a great investment for somebody who wants to run their own company up there.”
Pelletier thanked residents for their support and said his family would consider different uses for the venue if it doesn’t sell as a restaurant.