PORTLAND – Henry VIII’s, a popular sandwich shop in Monument Square, will close April 1.

Alice Olcott, who bought the business with her husband, Fritz, in 2006, said they had a loyal customer base, but 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,” Alice Olcott said.

She said the farmers markets in the square on Wednesdays and concerts on summer nights provided a boost, but not enough to make it economically viable.

The Olcotts bought the business from Bruce Rascher, who opened the shop in 2003. The Olcotts also bought a Henry VIII’s shop in Kennebunkport, which they also are closing.

A third location, the Henry VIII Carvery next to Cabela’s in Scarborough, is owned by David and Jessica Hopkinson. The Hopkinsons say they have no plans to close their restaurant.

The shops, with a Tudor theme, serve roast beef, turkey, ham and pork sandwiches, and salads.

Olcott said the 100-mile round trip from her home in Kittery made it difficult to always be on the premises in Portland. The restaurant has five employees.

“As much as I love (the Portland staff), stores like this function best with an owner-manager,” Olcott said.

She said customers have been calling and e-mailing to express their regrets that the business is 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.”

Staff Writer Beth Quimby can be contacted at 791-6363 or at:

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