August 20, 2010

French Press Eatery in Westbrook to reopen

By Meredith Goad mgoad@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

First, the French Press Eatery in Westbrook had a grand reopening to celebrate a major expansion. Three days later, lacking the funds to go on, the 55-seat restaurant closed its doors.

click image to enlarge

The French Press Eatery on Main Street in Westbrook, in a January 2010 file photo.

File photo/The Portland Press Herald

On Tuesday, the eatery will open once again at 8 a.m.

Got whiplash?

Chef James Tranchemontagne, co-owner of both The French Press Eatery and The Frog and Turtle restaurant, understands the situation may be confusing to his customers. But he hopes they understand that his expertise is working with good eats, not spreadsheets.

Why the sudden turnaround? Ever since the The French Press’ financial plight appeared in local newspapers, bankers and customers with business know-how have been coming forward to help.

Tranchemontagne and his co-owners, wife Heidi and younger brother Andre Tranchemontagne, have been inundated with ideas for how they can keep their Main Street cafe open and their popular homemade doughnuts flowing.

“It’s been a whirlwind of a week just talking with our banks and talking to customers who have their MBAs and who have just come and offered us some advice, who are a little bit older and wiser and told us things we didn’t know we could do,” Tranchemontagne said.

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