The Damariscotta River Grill, a popular midcoast restaurant in downtown Damariscotta, is for sale for $2.25 million.

Co-owners Rick Hirsch and Jean Kerrigan said they are putting the restaurant and the building it’s in on the market now because they would like to retire in the next two to three years, and they don’t want to have to search for the right buyer at the last minute.

The sale includes a four-story brick building with multiple retail spaces and river views, the restaurant business, a catering business associated with the restaurant, and a commercial kitchen that supports catering, take-out, and retail beer and wine sales.

“We think its going to be a long process to sell the place because it’s a unique situation,” said Hirsch, who is the restaurant’s chef. “We’re trying to come from a position of strength. And the town is doing fabulous. It’s a really exciting time, with a lot of growth.”

The restaurant, which has an eclectic, upscale menu heavy on seafood, will remain open while it is on the market. Hirsch said none of the staff has left because of the announcement of the sale.

Hirsch and Kerrigan, who manages the restaurant, opened Damariscotta River Grill in late 2003, and it became a popular dining spot for both locals and tourists. Hirsch was named Maine Chef of the Year by the Maine Restaurant Association in 2010. The restaurant has won 10 consecutive Wine Spectator Awards of Excellence, and in 2006 formed its own wine club, which holds monthly tastings and offers discounts for members.

The 8,100-square foot property is listed with Alyssa Bouthot of The Swan Agency Sotheby’s International Realty, who calls it “a turnkey opportunity for a new business owner or a chef looking to make the leap into restaurant ownership.”

Meredith Goad can be contacted at 791-6332 or at:

[email protected]

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