PORTLAND — A popular sandwich shop in Monument Square is closing this spring.
Henry VIII’s, 15 Monument Square, is closing April 1, the second restaurant in the square to close this year.
Owner Alice Olcott, who bought the business with her husband, Fritz, in 2006, said while they had a loyal customer base, it just wasn’t big enough. She said business is off 20 percent from last year and food prices have gone up.
“We are just not covering our expenses,” said Olcott.
She said the farmer’s market every Wednesday and Friday night concerts in the square in the summer gave the business a boost but not enough to make it economically viable.
The Olcotts bought the business from founder Bruce Rascher who opened the shop in 2003 and started a small franchise. The Olcotts also bought a Kennebunkport location which they are also closing. The restaurants feature roast-beef, turkey, ham and pork sandwiches and salads with a Tudor theme.
A third location, the Henry VIII Carvery at 400 Expedition Drive, next to Cabelas, is owned by David and Jessica Hopkinson. The Hopkinsons say they have no plans to close the restaurant, which features the same menu.
“We are just six miles away,” said David Hopkinson.
Olcott said the 100-mile round trip commute from her home in Kittery to Portland made it difficult to always be on the premises in Portland. The restaurant has five employees.
“As much as I love those guys (the Portland restaurant staff) stores like this function best with an owner-manager,” said Olcott.
She said customers have been calling and e-mailing to express their regrets that the business was closing. A couple of potential buyers have come forward and it is possible that someone could buy it, Olcott said.
“But realistically I kind of doubt it,” she said.