Don’s Lunch Van plans to reopen in Westbrook at its third Main Street location since it first opened almost 40 years ago.

Craig Bernier, who purchased the food truck in March, would like to park it on the site of the new Friendly Gas and Redemption, formerly LeClerc’s gas station, at 925 Main St., right near its original location.

The Westbrook Planning Board on Tuesday will consider a site plan amendment to allow for the local landmark burger joint on wheels. If it’s approved, Bernier said, he hopes to hold a grand opening in three or four weeks.

Although there’s still work to do to the site, the van itself has already been overhauled with a new look outside (though it’s not yet photo-ready, he said) and new engine so it can actually drive.

Bernier, who has been in the automotive business for most of his working life, doesn’t have “a stitch” of food service experience, he said, but has been a customer of Don’s Lunch as long as it’s been around.

Original owners Don and Yvonne Richards first opened Don’s Lunch Van in 1976 and operated out of the parking lot of The Muffler Shop at 959 Main St.


They sold the business in 2001 to Bill and Nancy Bombard, who it moved to 517 Main St.

The Bombards sold the business in 2012 to Jim Richards, the son of the original owners.

The state shut down the food truck in February for nonpayment of sales taxes.

Because Richards used owner financing to buy the business, the Bombards reacquired the van, which they then sold to Bernier.

Since then, he’s been getting advice about how to run the business. He’s stripping down the menu to its original simplicity – hamburgers, hot dogs, clam cakes, french fries, onion rings and chicken nuggets.

The van will be open from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and until 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

“We hope to see as many smiling faces down there buying cheeseburgers as possible,” Bernier said.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.