The Velveteen Habit, the Cape Neddick restaurant that took over the 18th-century farmhouse and gardens once owned by Arrows, is up for sale and has apparently closed after just 16 months.

In a statement posted to Facebook, owner Ben Goldman said he had “made the incredibly difficult decision to close our doors.”

“Being such a large project, there were so many moving pieces that had to fall into place for us to ultimately meet our short term goals and subsequent long term aspirations for both the restaurant and the property,” he wrote. “Although many of those pieces have fallen delightfully into place over the last two years, some of those pieces continue to elude us.”

The restaurant and its nearly 4-acre property have been listed for sale for $1.3 million by the Lux Realty Group.

After a rocky start when it opened in April 2015, the restaurant recently seemed to be gaining its footing, garnering good reviews, including four out of five stars from the Maine Sunday Telegram, and national attention.

In April, executive chef Chris Wilcox was invited to cook a “Maine Farmhouse Supper” at the James Beard House in New York City. The restaurant also was featured in Food & Wine’s August issue, which urged readers to try “the outstanding cheese and homemade charcuterie plates,” as well as the shrubs, tart beverages made from heirloom apples grown in the restaurant’s orchard.

Goldman, a sommelier who worked on Wall Street for a decade before becoming a restaurateur, purchased the property in October 2014. He quickly set about renovating the farmhouse and turning it away from the fine dining decor and fancy tasting menus that award-winning Arrows was well known for. The restaurant opened in April 2015.

Goldman wanted a restaurant that was more accessible but still had an edge. He threw pig roasts and Oktoberfests during the shoulder seasons for the locals, but also hosted grand weddings and other private events.

Goldman expanded the famous Arrows gardens, adding honeybees and laying hens, with the goal of growing 85 percent of the restaurant’s produce.

Goldman did not return phone calls seeking comment Monday.

The restaurant’s last dinner service was Sunday. Weddings and other private events that have already been booked for the fall apparently will go on as planned, according to the restaurant’s online statement.


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