Don’t stop me if you’ve heard this one before. The inn for essay contest craze of 2015 has jumped categories to restaurants. Yesterday, the owner of Fuel in Lewiston Eric Agren put his popular French bistro on the block for 300 words and $150.
“The real estate that houses Fuel and the restaurant itself has a high value. I want to keep the restaurant going,” said Agren, an active developer who helped jumpstart the mill city’s rebirth. “We are in our 10th year, the restaurant is very successful. I’ve built eight residences in Downtown Lewiston. I’ve bought three buildings on Lisbon Street, opened Marche. Renovated two buildings: and above Fuel created high-end luxury condos.” (A condo is included in the contest).
Now he’s ready to transition from the restaurant biz and give someone else a leg up.
“It’s not me selling a restaurant. I want to pass the torch onto someone,” he said.
If Agren put Fuel on the market he estimates it would list for $1.2 million. The owner suspects he’ll have better luck going the contest route. A lucky winner could walk away with this income property, a top chef, and new life for the cost of a night out here.
“I want to keep the restaurant open and level the playing field and give someone with passion a chance. Going into a restaurant business saddled with debt is much harder than if you have the whole thing paid for,” he said.
Besides the recipe for Fuel’s succulent balsamic-braised pork shank, the winner will receive “hundreds of thousands of content, equipment, fixtures … all kinds of things … subzero wine coolers behind the bar,” when they take possession of the 7,000-square foot space.
Before that happens he needs 8,000 applicants. And to stay out of legal hot water a lawyer will facilitate the final selections. Sharpen your skills, you’ve got 89 days and counting.
“I want people to tell me in their own words why they think they should do this.”
Apply here. Good luck!