PORTLAND – The North Star Music Cafe, one of the city’s liveliest performing arts spaces and a well-known gathering spot in the East End, is closing.

Kim Anderson, who was in her mid-20s when she started the business in 2007, announced the closing to customers and friends Thursday with a posting on Facebook.

“I have come to the difficult decision to close the doors of North Star,” Anderson wrote. “I am sure this will be no great surprise to many of you. This has been a strenuous year and North Star has gone through many changes to right itself. Unfortunately time has run out and North Star will be shutting its doors after the last show on Sunday.”

The cafe’s website lists the only Sunday show as “Luna Madidus — Music Through a Jazz Eye View” at 1 p.m.

Anderson started the cafe with Anna Maria Tocci, who has since left the business. Anderson talked publicly about money trouble at North Star in March, when she appealed to the community to start a fundraising effort.

She cited increased food costs and the sluggish economy as reasons for the cafe’s problems.

Contacted Thursday night, Anderson said she raised $6,000 to stay open.

“I sliced and diced the budget galore, but it just wasn’t enough,” she said. “The money coming in was not covering our bills.”

“It is over with me as the person running North Star,” she said. “I am hoping that a group of people who want to take it over will come forward. I’ve extended myself as far as I can go financially. We need to find someone with the right amount of experience, desire and money to make this work.”

As soon as Anderson made her announcement, people began posting items on Facebook about getting together to try to raise money to buy the cafe or keep it in business.

Though it’s a business, the North Star has served as a community center and gathering spot, hosting music shows, poetry nights, open mics, dance parties and discussion groups. The cafe has hosted regular showcase nights for the Maine Songwriters Association on Thursdays.

The cafe is on Congress Street at the base of Munjoy Hill.

Staff Writer Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at:

rrouthier@pressherald.com