Rumors have been swirling that a well-known eatery in Presque Isle is closing, and News Source 8 spoke with owner of the Crow’s Nest who did confirm that the restaurant and event center officially closed as of Tuesday. Owner Jim Stacey who says the closure was not a choice, but rather something they were forced into.
Stacey did not want to go on camera, but said that the closing can be attributed to financial shortcomings associated with the size of the building. The event center was only utilized once or twice a week; and that really ate away at the heating cost, insurance cost, and tax cost to keep the place running.
Executive Director of the Central Aroostook Chamber of Commerce Theresa Fowler said, ”Even maintaining the building was a huge cost for Mr. Stacey and I just feel really badly, he put his heart and soul into that business.”
A business that’s just too big for a community with a small population to sustain. It’s not the first time a restaurant in this building has had to close; before it was Crow’s Nest it was “Slopes.” Which also had to close it’s doors for the same reason.
Director of Planning and Development for the City of Presque Isle Ken Arndt said, ”Tremendous overhead cost that you have to pay for and so I think it’s extremely difficult and will continue to be.”
The Crow’s Nest hosted many fundraiser events while it lasted and though losing the event center and eatery is disappointing; Presque Isle City Hall says they’ve already received inquiries from developers with a possible interest in re-utilizing the space.
Director of Planning and Development for the City of Presque Isle Ken Arndt said, ”A facility like that is always best utilized for it’s intended purpose because its got a large centralized cooking facility.”
There are no plans in the works yet- but the Director of Planning and Development suggests a multi-purpose facility with multiple users of the property may be more successful than just one owner trying to utilize such a large space.
According to public record from the Presque Isle City Hall, the property is worth $800,000. The 2 mortgage holders on the property include the Machias Savings Bank of Houlton and the City of Presque Isle.