2017-10-20 / Front Page

Board supports barbecue request

By Michael Kelley Staff Writer

The time for summer barbecues has come and gone, but Linda DuVall, the owner and operator of Mamie’s Farmhouse at 97 County Road is already thinking about the 2018 barbecue season.

DuVall appeared before the planning board last week to add barbecuing to her business, which offers sandwiches, sweet treats such as cupcakes and ice cream and vintage antiques and Maine made products in a converted farmhouse next to Dunkin’ Donuts and Subway on County Road.

The idea was unanimously supported by the four planning board members in attendance at the Oct. 11 meeting – members Susan Auglis, Robyn Saunders and alternate Rachel Hendrickson were absent – and would allow Mamie’s Farmhouse to offer barbecue from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday between May 15 and Oct. 15.

The business opened four years ago, but not before a total transformation of the 150-year-old farmhouse on the property that had fallen into a serious state of disrepair.

“It’s been a big transformation. We hear from the community, even still, that they are so proud of it. Many people lived in this house, grew up here. It was built in 1853. There is a lot of history and a lot of pride,” DuVall said.

DuVall said the barbecue offering was something customers had asked for.

“There was a lot of interest for use to do a little bit more,” she said.

Bringing it from an 1800s farmhouse to a 21st century business was a large undertaking, DuVall said.

“To bring this old place back to life, it as cost us a lot. It is difficult for small businesses, sometimes, to make ends meet. This would be a way for us to really be able to generate a little more business,” DuVall said.

The plans call for a grill to be placed upon a 64-square foot stone pad under a cedar pergola next to the house’s side porch. A fence and additional landscaping and outdoor seating would be added to the site.

Planning Director Jay Chace said although the plan met planning board approval, it will have to be reviewed by Commercial Code and Fire Inspector Jim Butler to make sure the grill under the pergola does not pose any risks. DuVall said she has spoken to Butler about it and he seemed comfortable with what was being proposed, but is happy to meet with him again.

“We want to do everything right. I don’t want to have anything that is hazardous in anyway,” she said.

Planning Board Chairman Corey Fellows appreciated that sentiment.

“I think it’s wonderful what you’ve done with the property and that you’re making this effort to do the next step the right way,” he said.

DuVall said the business expansion would not necessitate more than the 13 parking spaces already provided on site. Most of Mamie’s Farmhouse’s customers are just stopping in for a quick lunch or snack and the lot is typically half full at any given time. Responding to a question from planning board member Nick McGee about adding additional parking in the future, DuVall said there is plenty of room for addition- al parking on the 4.5-acre site, but she was not looking to do that in the short term.

Fellows said he was glad DuVall would be open to the possibility or adding additional parking because there have been cases “of a business being the victim of its own success” and not having enough room to accommodate the customer traffic in the end.

McGee also wanted to make sure with the increase in outdoor seating and barbecuing trash gets properly disposed of and doesn’t impact the heavily County Road (Route 22) corridor. DuVall said proper trash disposal has not been an issue with customers in the past, but as part of the project intends to provide several more trash receptacle with lids.

Planning board member Roger Beeley said he was impressed with the building’s transformation and would be happy to support this latest request.

“I don’t have a problem with anything. You’ve done a good job there,” he said.

Planning board alternate Rick DuPerre, who lives near Mamie’s

Farmhouse, said it is nice to “have another place to eat that we can walk to.”

“I like that you left the farmhouse as a farmhouse and worked with what was there rather than making a lot of changes to make it more modern,” DuPerre told DuVall. “I think it fits the area and barbecuing in the summertime will be a great addition.”

At the Oct. 10 meeting, the planning board also approved a site plan amendment for the Eastern Village housing project between Route 1, Black Point Road and the Eastern Trail, a site plan amendment for Ameriprise Financial Planning to add a 800-square-foot addition and expand its parking lot at 5 Ward St. and moved forward a preliminary plan for Yellow Birch Estates, a proposed 9-lot subdivision at 203 Holmes Road and reviewed a sketch plan of a 10-lot subdivision at 48 Mitchell Hill Road.

Staff Writer Michael Kelley can be reached at news@scarboroughleader.com.

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