GRAY — Cole Farms, a popular family restaurant for some 70 years, announced Monday that it is closing.

Brad Pollard, its owner, said it has become “increasingly difficult” over the last few years to maintain the successful formula the business once had.

Known for its homemade pies and home-cooked dinners, Pollard’s family has owned and operated the restaurant since it first opened 68 years ago.

In a news release Monday, Pollard said he’s worked at the restaurant for almost 50 years, since he was 10 years old.

“It’s been hard to weather recent changes and we can no longer operate Cole Farms like we have in the past,” he said. “It’s with a heavy heart that I announce that it’s time to say goodbye… It’s been a tough and emotional decision to decide to close, but it is the right one.”

Cole Farms’ last day in business will be Monday, Jan. 13, 2020.

Pollard went on to say that Cole Farms is “a great property with a lot of potential. Perhaps someone with vision and fresh ideas can transform it into something new that can serve the community for another 68 years.”

In January, the business closed for a number of weeks for renovations, which, Pollard described at the time as an effort to “reinvent” the business, making it more of a draw for a younger crowd.

Changes included renovating the interior, redesigning the kitchen and adding a brick pizza oven and small market.

“The alternative would be closing up. We don’t want to do that,” Pollard told the Lakes Region Weekly in January.

Cole Farms posted the announcement to its Facebook page Monday afternoon, and within an hour, it had generated 350 comments and had been shared nearly 1,000 times.

Many of the comments came from longtime customers, who shared fond memories of annual trips to the restaurant. One commenter, Dawne Morrell, said, “This just breaks my heart. I have been coming there every summer for 43 years of my life while vacationing at my family’s cottage on Little Sebago. I am (on) the verge of tears right now, that’s how much it means in our family! I almost (want to) make the (4-hour) drive for one last meal and a gallon of Cole’s dressing!”

Ownership said customers with gift certificates can use them before Jan. 13 or bring them in for a refund.


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