WATERVILLE — Jenny Allen had for years wanted to open a coffeehouse where patrons could drop in, sip coffee or tea, pick up an instrument and play, read a book or talk religion, politics or any other tropic of the day.

Allen, 45, of Oakland, realized her dream Monday when she opened A Coffeehouse at 252 Main St., the site of the former Record Connection.

“It was great, Allen said Thursday. “We got pretty slammed in the morning and people really seemed to like the idea.”

Allen and her husband, Craig Allen, 56, bought the building in 2021-22 and renovated the interior to include making it handicapped accessible and code compliant. They painted, installed a commercial kitchen and brought in tables and chairs to seat about 25 people.

The whole idea was to create a warm and inclusive place for folks to congregate. Allen describes the space as “chaotically cozy.”

“I think it’s a space that’s welcoming for everyone,” she said. “We’ve just been getting people of all ages, and a lot of the people in the community are feeling like it’s the new Jorgensen’s. I have a lot of the seating from Jorgensen’s, too.”


She was referring to Jorgensen’s Cafe & Deli, a longtime eatery in downtown that moved in 2021 from 103 Main St. to 220 Main St. after 30 years in business and closed in 2023.

Allen purchased a lot of dishes, including elegant china teacups, at estate sales, and has a collection of books on hand for patrons to enjoy.

A cyclist passes A Coffeehouse, left, on Thursday. The new business recently opened at 252 Main St. in Waterville. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

“I think people should enjoy these things in life,” she said. “We shouldn’t just box things away.”

On opening day, Allen mentioned to some patrons that they could bring their own musical instruments to the coffeehouse, and a woman piped up and said she played guitar, Allen said.

“She went out to her car and got her guitar and she played beautiful music for a couple of hours,” she said.

Soon, a man joined her and they performed together.


“It was very serendipitous,” Allen said.

With high-speed internet, fresh vegan-vegetarian food, St-Viateur bagels from Montreal, Equal Exchange Fair Trade coffees, teas and spirit-free drinks, the business will have retail spaces with local and international art for sale. It also will be a pickup site for FarmDrop, where people can order local farmers’ produce before midnight on Wednesdays and it will be delivered to the coffeehouse on Fridays.

“In mid-June we will close down for a week and re-open after the 24th, so I think that’s when we’ll get FarmDrop really rolling,” Allen said.

The environmentally conscious business serves drinks and other consumables to-go in paper cups with foldable lids from The Good Cup and encourages reusing items. Patrons may bring their own clean, reusable cups, containers and utensils for food purchases if they choose.

Starting Monday, summer hours will be 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., or later, Friday and Saturday, Allen said. It will be closed Thursday and Sunday. The hours will be adjusted after the summer, she said. Those with questions may call the business at 207-877-1208.

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