SOUTH PORTLAND — The Griffin Club has been purchased by two Cape Elizabeth women – one of them a longtime local musician – who hope to renovate the building and continue its tradition as a community gathering place.

Penny Prior and Ginger Cote are the principals of P&G Developers LLC, which completed the sale Monday, according to a statement from Eric Flynn of Excellence Realty.

“We’re thrilled to own The Griffin Club property and delighted to be joining the vibrant community that lives and works in Knightville,” Cote said. “Our plans aren’t firm yet, but we know food and music will be part of whatever we do.”

Cote is a Maine native who began playing drums at age 6 and was a full-time musician by the time she turned 18. She spent a number of years touring the United States and overseas with high-profile acts such as Bonnie Raitt, Lucinda Williams and Emmylou Harris, as well as Portland’s own Cidny Bullens and Darien Brahms.

Raised near Washington, D.C., Prior has been an elementary and technology teacher for 10 years, after many years of building websites for major media brands.

Prior said it’s exciting to own the landmark property where the legendary Eddie Griffin and his family operated a sports pub for more than 40 years.


“The Griffin Club has long been an institution in South Portland,” Prior said. “It was a true community space, and we aim to carry that tradition forward.”

The new owners said they hope it will be possible to renovate the building.

“In the coming weeks our team will evaluate all of the options,” Cote said. “We look forward to talking with the city of South Portland and others (in) the community about our ideas.”

Additional information was unavailable Monday, Flynn said.

The Griffin Club, at 60 Ocean St., was founded in 1973 by Griffin, a promoter of boxing and other sports who was fiercely proud of his Irish heritage and previously operated a bar on the other side of Ocean Street.

After Griffin’s death in 1993 at age 65, his wife, Marjorie Griffin, ran the popular pub until she sold the business in 2008 to Scott Parker, a longtime employee. She transferred ownership of the building to her son and daughter-in-law, Byron and Audrey Castro of Cape Elizabeth, before she died in 2011 at age 78.

The Castros have declined to discuss their decision to sell the property in the increasingly desirable Knightville neighborhood. Parker has said he hopes to reopen elsewhere in South Portland, where he plans to provide a new home for The Griff’s sports memorabilia and loyal customers.

Kelley Bouchard can be contacted at:

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