RANGELEY – It’s a beehive of activity these days at the corner of Main and Pond Streets. The building on this corner, most recently known as Scribner’s Hardware, is getting a complete makeover thanks to John and Birgitta Parker. The Parkers of Oquossoc, who are dedicated fans of the Rangeley area, “saw the chance to help and do something good for the town of Rangeley,” John said recently, “and I love a challenge.”
‘A challenge’ may be an understatement in this case.
The building is undergoing a complete restoration in that Parker has gone back to the original bones of the building in order to get the building ready for new businesses and tenants to move in. Already hauled away are 11, 30-ton-size dumpsters worth of material with more on the way out.
Confirmed for occupancy are two spacious apartments, one restaurant, and three retail spaces that will add to Main Street’s business bustle.
The 30-seat restaurant, which is Birgitta’s project, will be known as The Corner Side and will feature “Sips and Apps,” and much more, according to its proprietor Birgitta Parker.
“It’s not the usual fare for Rangeley,” she said. The restaurant will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner with menus that will change weekly to feature the freshest ingredients possible. Tapas (light fare), an extensive wine list, Sunday brunch, and weekly cocktail specials, are just a few enticing details of what awaits patrons. Birgitta Parker, a professional interior decorator, promises that the décor and furnishings will be fresh and light as well that will promise to “expect the unexpected at The Corner Side.”
In addition, The Farmer’s Daughter, owned by Nate and Jess Nichols and already well-established in Oquossoc, will be expanding their business in one of the refurbished spaces to offer folks on this side of the lake their local produce, baked goods, fine cheeses, gourmet goodies, wine and beer.
“We’re looking forward to having a presence on Main Street and hope to be open by June 1,” said Nate Nichols said. However, he added, if you can’t wait til then, their Oquossoc store opens on May 1.
Also moving in will be a new business in town, Allied Realty. Mark Schoenthaler, a local real estate agent, has partnered with Aaron Bolster, owner of Allied Realty in Skowhegan, and opened a branch office here in Rangeley. From his current temporary office across the street, Mark watches progress daily and “is very psyched,” he said about his new office space. Allied has three other agents that work from this office, Sue Johnson, Ron Wood and Casey Cote. They will continue to maintain their current location on Pond Street in the old IGA building as additional showroom space.
Not only has Parker’s renovation project created space for four businesses where there had only been one, he has also created multiple opportunities for local contractors where there had been few. On any given day pick-up trucks and contractor vehicles are parked up and down both sides of Pond Street.
Special features of the building’s renovation include saving the original wood floors on the first floor, exposing a beautiful rock wall on the lower floor that serves as the building’s foundation wall, and redesigned the main entrance to reflect the original design from the early 20th century. Signage will be limited to windows only in order to keep the exterior look clean and simple. The new color scheme evokes that original Victorian charm using a soft, golden yellow with crisp, white trim and a three-over-one window design reminiscent of that era.