ROCKLAND, Maine — Several new businesses will be opening downtown over the next several months offering everything from men’s clothes, breakfast, gelatos and meats.
There is a great demand by businesses to be located on Main Street, said Rockland Main Street Executive Director Gordon Page Sr.
“I get a lot of calls. People realize the upward mobility of the city of Rockland, particularly its downtown,” Page said.
Because of the demand and limited space, there is often a waiting list of people waiting to find the right spot downtown.
At either end of the downtown are two hotels — the new five-story 250 Main Hotel and the renovated Navigator Motor Inn, which will be known as the Rockland Harbor Hotel. 250 Main Hotel opened Monday, and Rockland Harbor Hotel is on track to open by Memorial Day.
Curator, a men’s consignment clothing store, is scheduled to open June 3 at 385 Main St. in the location most recently occupied by the Thorndike Creamery.
Benjamin Dorr and Emily Seymour of Rockland will own and operate Curator, which will offer men’s clothes, shoes, belts, hats, wallets and sunglasses.
“I recognized a market that was underserved,” Dorr said.
The 31-year-old said he had tried to find some clothes recently when he was planning to attend a wedding in Mexico but could not find anything locally.
His mother owns and operates Serendipity Fine Consignment in Camden, which offers women’s clothing and accessories.
Curator will be located in the historic Thorndike building.
The Art Loft opened Monday on the street level of the Thorndike with a grand opening planned for Friday. The Art Loft provides arts education and offers both introductory experimental programs and more advanced courses.
The Art Loft was created by Kathryn Matlack of Camden and Paula Apro of Rockland.
Down the street a few blocks from Curator and The Art Loft will be a new restaurant — Broken Egg. The new eatery will be located at 421 Main St., which was most recently the home of Comida restaurant.
Heather Symmt will be operating Broken Egg, which is scheduled to open May 18.
Symmt said Broken Egg will offer breakfasts, brunches and lunches. She said Broken Egg will offer “all the staples with an added flair.” For example, Broken Egg will offer carrot cake pancakes and steak and eggs with spices that will pop, she said.
This will be the first restaurant she has opened. Symmt said she comes with an accounting background, having earned her master’s in business administration and worked in accounting for 20 years. But, she said, she always wanted to operate a restaurant and earned a degree in baking and pastry making.
Broken Egg also will feature a full bar. The lower level of the restaurant can be used for small parties or business meetings, she said. The lower level also will have an area where young children can be more at ease with tables set up for them.
She said she moved to Maine from Texas so she could raise her young child in a smaller community with four seasons rather than just hot weather. Broken Egg will be open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays.
A few more blocks north at 497 Main St., Gelato Rose will be operated by Annie Higbee and daughter Cecile Bizet Burbank. The two women and gelato shop will share the space at 497 Main St. with building owner Robert Arena who will be opening an Italian ice shop to be named Ice Blossoms.
Bizet Burbank said her mother had taken a trip to Mexico and visited a community with a large Italian community where there was an amazing gelato shop. She said her mother sent her a text inquiring whether she would like to open one in the area. Bizet Burbank said she grew up in Rockland and wanted to be located on Main Street.
The shops will open in late June.
Better Homes and Gardens, the Masiello Group, will be opening on May 26 at 318 Main St., which had been the home of Planet Toys.
Up the road from Main Street, at 77 Park St., a new butcher shop will be opening. Hops and Chops plans to open May 13 at the building that had been occupied previously by businesses such as Amato’s and the Blackboard Deli.
Dale Dare will be running the full-service meat shop that will offer a variety of meats including locally-raised beef, chicken and pork. Hops and Chops also will offer prepared meals such as meatloaf, meatballs and baby back ribs, and it will serve craft beers with a focus on Maine beers and a wide selection of wines.
Dare grew up in Rockland, one street over on Grace Street. He has been a meat cutter for 32 years, including most recently at the Hannaford supermarket in Rockland.