October 19, 2013

Arrows Restaurant in Ogunquit for sale

The award-winning owners will concentrate on their MC restaurant brand in Perkins Cove and Boston.

By J. Craig Anderson canderson@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

Arrows Restaurant, a high-end dining destination that’s known as an institution in Ogunquit, is up for sale.

click image to enlarge

Arrows Restaurant chef-owners Mark Gaier and Clark Frasier are shown after winning a James Beard Award.

2010 Press Herald File Photo

click image to enlarge

Arrows Restaurant in Ogunquit is for sale.

2010 Press Herald File Photo

The restaurant’s celebrity-chef owners, Clark Frasier and Mark Gaier, have decided to sell Arrows after running it for 25 years and focus on their MC restaurant brand, Frasier said Friday.

They hope to find a buyer who will reopen Arrows, considered a forerunner in the sustainable-dining movement, for the 2014 tourist season, he said.

Frasier made it clear that the restaurant will reopen next season, and that the only question is who will run it. Several prospective buyers already have expressed interest, he said.

Arrows held its 25th anniversary celebration on Sept. 22 and shut its doors for the season a week later, Frasier said.

“We felt that it was a really good time to stop, to go out with a bang, if you will,” he said. “We loved (Arrows). We still do love it. It was a very hard decision.”

It’s likely that Arrows will keep its name after being sold, Frasier said, but that will not be a requirement of the sale.

“We really hope we would have someone there who will be able to preserve the tradition or expand upon the tradition,” he said.

Frasier said he and Gaier will turn their attention to the MC brand, which has one restaurant, MC Perkins Cove in Ogunquit, open now and a second, called MC Medici, scheduled to open in the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel in mid-February.

“We want to focus a lot more on expanding that brand,” he said.

LUX Realty Group, a Portland-based real-estate brokerage, has listed the Arrows property for sale on its website, luxrealty.com, for $1.2 million. The listing makes clear that Frasier and Gaier are looking for a restaurateur to continue operating Arrows in a similar fashion.

“The offering includes all real estate as well as the full inventory of high quality fixtures and equipment from its master kitchen complex and three dining rooms,” it says. “This allows new ownership to reposition this superb dining establishment into an immediately operational facility.”

The restaurant, in a restored farmhouse that was built around 1765, sits on nearly four acres of land that has been used to grow all of the produce used in the restaurant’s dishes. It seats about 65 people in the dining room and another eight at the bar, according to the listing.

Ogunquit Select Board Chair Barbara Dailey said it would be a great loss to the community if Arrows ceased to exist. “It’s been a tradition for many people as a special-occasion place for years.”

Dailey called Frasier and Gaier pioneers in the farm-to-table movement who have a reputation for maintaining the highest quality in everything they do.

“I suspect they’ll do very, very well” in their efforts to grow the MC restaurant brand, she said.

With MC Perkins Cove under their ownership, the James Beard Award-winning chefs will continue to have a presence in Ogunquit.

Mary Breen, who owns the Bread and Roses Bakery, said the sale of Arrows could take a toll on other businesses in town that rely on tourism.

She said many tourists come to Ogunquit planning their whole trip around dining at Arrows. “It has been an institution here in Ogunquit for 25 years,” she said.

Breen said the sale offer will likely attract high-caliber candidates who know how to run a quality establishment, but something could be lost in the transition from Frasier and Gaier.

“I think when any business changes owners, there’s always a little bit of a difference,” she said. “They’ll be missed for sure.”

 

J. Craig Anderson can be contacted at 791-6390 or at:canderson@pressherald.comTwitter: @JCraigAnderson

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