WATERVILLE — Although Joseph’s Fireside Steakhouse in Waterville has closed for good due to crowd restrictions brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, customers with gift cards can still get their money’s worth at other restaurants in the area.

The Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce announced Monday that those who hold Joseph’s gift cards may have then replaced with gift cards of equal value for other restaurants that are members of the chamber.

Kevin Joseph at Joseph’s Fireside Steakhouse on West River Road in Waterville in 2019. The restaurant, which closed due to crowd restrictions prompted by the coronavirus pandemic, will not reopen. The restaurant’s gift cards may be redeemed at the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce in Waterville.

Those who redeem Joseph’s gift cards will also receive an extra 10% — on top of their cards’ value — when they dine at participating restaurants. The 10% bonus cannot be combined with other discounts or promotions, and will be honored until Aug. 31.

Joseph’s gift cards must be redeemed at the chamber’s office at 50 Elm St. in Waterville.

Participating restaurants can be found on the chamber’s website — midmainechamber.com.

Joseph’s co-owners Kevin Joseph and E.J. Fabian announced May 29 their restaurant at 99 West River Road would close permanently.

Joseph and Fabian put the restaurant up for sale in 2019, but decided to close due to the increased restrictions implemented by the state due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“With the social-distancing requirements in place, we feel it would be very difficult to safely seat more than 35 to 40 people,” Joseph wrote in a statement released May 29. “Operating at this limited capacity we would not be able to generate enough revenue to pay the bills.”

The steakhouse typically seats 140 to 150 people.

Restaurants were given the OK to open for dine-in services May 18 by Gov. Janet Mills, but must meet strict guidelines, including keeping tables 6 feet apart, using a reservation-only system and switching to laminated menus.

Joseph’s Fireside Steakhouse opened in June 2011 when Joseph was still running Joseph’s Market on Front Street in Waterville, which his family opened in 1925.

Joseph and his wife, Diane, ran the market for 30 years, specializing in fine meats. The couple sold the market in 2015.

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