If you’ve ever fantasized about living and working on a Maine island in summer, here’s your chance. Salt, the 5-year-old restaurant on Vinalhaven, is for sale.

Owner/operator John Feingold said in an email he would prefer to lease the ground-floor restaurant and sell the business itself, but he would also consider selling the building, which includes two apartments.

Feingold plans to list the restaurant at $20/square foot/year for the approximately 1,350 square foot ground floor space, which includes the dining room, kitchen and downstairs storage. This works out as $2,250/month rent, plus the tenant’s share of property insurance and taxes. The leasee would need to purchase the existing equipment and furnishings, worth about $40,000, according to Feingold.

Salt has a loyal following among local and seasonal island residents, and has been an Open Table Diners Choice restaurant for four out of its five years. So why is Feingold selling? The 38-seat restaurant keeps Feingold, who is from New York, “nailed down” in Vinalhaven from early May through mid-October, apart from his wife Nancy, who is Town Supervisor of Mamaroneck, New York. “Five years of living apart like this is something we can no longer abide,” he said.

Feingold says he’s done more than he initially hoped for with Salt and is ready to walk away with “a feeling of accomplishment.”

Contributing to that feeling is the fact that the restaurant books up every night throughout the summer, when it serves dinner five nights a week. Most of the staff are locals – this past season, 12 out of 18 people on the payroll were island residents, he said. For two years, Feingold kept the place open year-round on weekends – and kept his staff partly employed. Other years, he held monthly weekend pop-up dinners.


Maine Sunday Telegram restaurant critic Andrew Ross gave Salt three-and-a-half stars in 2016. Ross also named it “Best Spot for a Romantic Dinner” in his year-end roundup that year.

“It’s a turn-key operation with a track record and strong following, and the seasoned staff is in the wings ready and willing to show up for work,” Feingold said. “I think Salt – or whatever a new owner calls it – represents a real opportunity for someone to continue a successful operation, or for a new owner or aspiring chef to exercise their talents and creativity.”

As for his own plans, Feingold says he has none, except for sailing, vintage sports car racing, and spending more time with his family.

Meredith Goad can be contacted at 791-6332 or at:


Twitter: MeredithGoad

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.