WATERVILLE — The site of the former Weathervane restaurant on Kennedy Memorial Drive — a landmark building that was torn down last week — could soon be home to another chain restaurant, according to the new owners of the property.

The property at 470 Kennedy Memorial Drive next to the exit 127 off-ramp of Interstate 95 was bought by John and Ham Marden, brothers who own the Marden’s Surplus & Salvage stores, including the one adjacent to the site of the former restaurant. The property was previously owned by Gagner Family Partnership LLC.

The Weathervane closed in January 2015, laying off 25 people, in a move the company, Weathervane Seafoods, said was because of poor economic conditions. The building had been The Silent Woman resturaunt before Weathervane bought it in 1986. The restaurant, a landmark largely because of its large sign visible from I-95 depicting a headless woman holding a serving tray, opened in 1962.

After the Weathervane closed last year, the new owners searched for a tenant, but then determined that the building was in a condition “such that it seemed anyone didn’t want to rent it as it was,” Ham Marden said Friday.

“It just made more sense to take it down, update the whole site and in that way help move the town and the area forward,” Marden said.

The Mardens are in discussion with several prospective developers but nothing has been solidified yet, he said. “There’s a couple possible national chains possibly in the food service business that are interested, but nothing has been signed yet,” Marden said.


When asked whether the development will be connected with the nearby Marden’s store, he said, “It will probably be something totally different.”

The Mardens are hoping to have a plan for the site set within six to eight months.

“That’s a hope,” Marden said. “The old building, there just wasn’t a lot of value there. It was configured in a way that wasn’t friendly to new businesses going in. The kitchen was old; it had issues. We just thought it would be best to start over, and hopefully there will be something going on there shortly.”

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368


Twitter: @rachel_ohm

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