Espo’s Trattoria, the family-owned Italian restaurant known for its softball-sized meatballs and twin lobster specials, is for sale.

The 5,550-square-foot restaurant at 1335 Congress St. in Portland has been family-run for 45 years, and is now on the market for $1.2 million, according to Malone Commercial Brokers. The building was constructed in 1910 (the dining room still has its original tin ceiling) and was renovated in 2005.

It includes a small patio, decent parking (a rarity in Portland), and a second-floor apartment.

Bob Esposito, owner of the restaurant, said he’s selling because the timing of the market is good, and neighborhood restaurants like Espo’s are doing well off the peninsula – away from the crowds and higher prices of the Old Port. He said Espo’s has been bringing in $1.1 million in sales a year.

Esposito added that none of his children has shown any interest in owning a restaurant; if they did, he said, “I’d give it to them.”

Esposito, who also owns three Ford car dealerships in Maine, bought the restaurant from his father and uncle in 2004. In the years since, he’s gutted and renovated the inside, re-sided the building, repaved the parking lot and put up new signs.

“I still enjoy the business,” he said. “I just don’t have the time to spend in there.”

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