If you’ve ever fantasized about living and working on a Maine island in summer, here’s your chance. Salt, the 5-year-old restaurant on Vinalhaven, is for sale.

Owner/operator John Feingold said in an email he would prefer to lease the ground floor restaurant space and sell the business itself, but he would also consider selling the building, which includes two apartments.

Feingold plans to list the restaurant at $20 per square foot per year for the approximately 1,350-square-foot space, which includes dining room, kitchen and downstairs storage. This works out to $2,250 permonth in rent, plus the tenant’s share of property insurance and taxes. The leasee would need to purchase the existing equipment and furnishings, worth about $40,000, according to Feingold.

Salt has a loyal following among both local and seasonal island residents, and has been an Open Table Diners Choice restaurant for four out of its five years. So why is Feingold selling? The 38-seat restaurant keeps Feingold, who is from New York, “nailed down” in Vinalhaven from early May through mid-October, apart from his wife, Nancy, who is town supervisor of Mamaroneck, New York. “Five years of living apart like this is something we can no longer abide,” he said.

Feingold says he’s done more than he initially hoped for with Salt and is ready to leave it in someone else’s hands and walk away with “a feeling of accomplishment.”

Contributing to that feeling is the fact that the restaurant books up every night of the summer, when it serves dinner five nights a week. Most of the staff are locals – this past season, 12 out of 18 people on the payroll were island residents, he said. For two years, Feingold kept the restaurant open on weekends year-round – and kept his staff partly employed. Other years, he held monthly weekend pop-up dinners.

Maine Sunday Telegram restaurant critic Andrew Ross gave Salt three-and-a-half stars in 2016. Ross also named it “Best Spot for a Romantic Dinner” in his year-end roundup that year.

“It’s a turn-key operation with a track record and strong following, and the seasoned staff is in the wings ready and willing to show up for work,” Feingold said. “I think Salt – or whatever a new owner calls it – represents a real opportunity for someone to continue a successful operation, or for a new owner or aspiring chef to exercise their talents and creativity.”

As for his own plans, Feingold says he has none, except for sailing, vintage sports car racing, and spending more time with his family.

MR. TUNA PARKS

Jordan Rubin, owner of the popular Mr. Tuna sushi carts in the greater Portland area, opened his first stationary location over the weekend at the Public Market House, 28 Monument Way in Portland.

Rubin’s food won accolades from Bon Appetit over the summer, when Portland was named the food magazine’s Restaurant City of the Year.

Mr. Tuna will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays.

DIRIGO’S LAST DAYS

After Nov. 5, Yarmouth will have one less spot to grab a burger and a beer.

Ben and Katie Grant, owner/operators of Dirigo Public House, 305 U.S. Route 1, announced on their Facebook page Monday that after being in business for three years, their last day will be Nov. 5, in order “to move into the next chapter of our lives.”

The pub will be open Thursday through Monday. Sunday will be its last $5 Burger Day. “We’re going to get very aggressive with our inventory and pricing,” the post said.

Dirigo Public House received three stars from the Maine Sunday Telegram’s restaurant critic, who also named the “rapturously messy” Dirigo Burger, served on a housemade potato roll, his favorite burger of 2016.

LOOK FOR THE BIG ROOSTER

Montecito Market, a new specialty food store in Westbrook, held its grand opening Saturday.

The market is located at 1102 Bridgton Road (Route 302), just below the Methodist Road. (Look for the big rooster.)

Montecito Market is owned by Scott Rehart, best known for his El Mirador Mexican Deli in the old Portland Public Market, and for Montecito Roadhouse Tortilla Chips. Rehart and his wife, Julia, will operate the store.

The retail market will sell Maine- and New England-made products such as jams, sauces and soup mixes, and will also offer homemade meals to go, including breakfast burritos, sandwiches, chili rellenos, enchiladas, chimichangas, meatloaf, chicken pot pie and lasagna.

The market is open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day but Sunday. For more info, call 856-6811.

MARKET IS HOT, WEATHER NOT

The Lewiston Winter Farmers’ Market will be open from 10 a.m. to noon on Sundays this year, beginning Nov. 4 and running through February.

The market’s location at the YWCA, 130 East Ave., has parking and a handicapped accessible entrance.

Like the summer market, the winter market will offer fruits and vegetables, meats, dairy products, fresh bread and other baked goods, prepared meals, fiber arts and handmade soaps. Look for a Holiday Fair Rummage Sale and Farmers’ Market sometime in early December.

The market accepts cash, check credit card, debit and SNAP (food stamps). The market will be continuing the state wide Maine Harvest Bucks program which provides SNAP beneficiaries with bonus vouchers for more fruits and vegetables. It also has a program that rewards regular customers for their loyalty, and the Seniors and Veterans Day program, which provides seniors over 62 and veterans with gift certificates to the market the first Sunday market of every month.

GET YOUR EXORCISE?

Finally, a little Halloween fun. If you’re worried about your candy intake this spooky season, have you heard about that study from the University of Westminster in London? It showed that watching a 90-minute horror movie can burn 150 calories, the same number of calories as a half-hour walk.

The informal study is from 2012, and was never published in a peer-reviewed journal, but it gets trotted out every Halloween. The researchers wired up a handful of subjects and measured their oxygen intake, heart rate and carbon dioxide output while they watched 10 horror moves.

The movie that burned the most calories (184) was “The Shining,” followed by “Jaws” and “The Exorcist” – the movie that’s so scary it even turned horror movie queen Jamie Lee Curtis off the genre.

Douse the lights and pass the Snickers, please.

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

[email protected]

Twitter: MeredithGoad

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