News Feature

Originally published in Castine Patriot, February 1, 2018
Castine seeks vendor for waterfront take-out establishment
Dudley’s Refresher chooses not to renew lease

Seeking vendor

The 331 square foot take-out establishment on the Casitne waterfront is searching for a vendor to operate it for the upcoming seasons.

Photo by Anne Berleant Order prints of selected PBP photos.

by Anne Berleant

What’s a spring or summer day in Castine without a visit to the town dock to gaze out at the harbor, meet old friends and make new ones, all accompanied by a plate of fried fresh fish, a burger or lobster roll?

Hopefully no local or tourist will need to find out. The town is looking for a new operator to lease the former Dudley’s Refresher after Michael Rossney and Michele Levesque opted not to renew a three-year contract that ended in 2017, something that came as no surprise.

“We had been talking to them for a while and they really wanted to find someone to operate it for them and ultimately buy the franchise… but couldn’t get it to work,” Town Manager Jim Goodson said.

The town is accepting proposals through March 5 to lease the 331 square foot building, which is fully set up as a seasonal food service establishment.

“Our current vendor did a great job creating an exciting food presence but can no longer operate ‘Dudley’s Refresher,” the request for proposals states.

The building is owned by nonprofit Castine Community Partners, while some of its fixtures belong to Rossney and Levesque.

The deadline for proposals is March 5, but Goodson said three separate vendors have already expressed interest in operating the take-out, including Dudley’s Refresher’s manager last summer, Bradley Buck and a partner.

Rent is listed on the request for proposals as $3,500 for the 2018 season, with an anticipated 5 percent or less increase per year of the three-year lease, which comes with a possible two-year renewal. The lease year runs from April 6, 2018 through April 5, 2021.

As a business that supports the tourist and seasonal resident trade, stipulations include that it open no later than Memorial Day and close no earlier than Labor Day.

Proposals will be graded by the board of selectmen on a range of criteria, including staffing, quality and price of food, menu offerings, and customer service, including the ability to stay open at least eight hours a day, six or seven days a week.

The request for proposals package is available on the town website or by emailing