Andy’s Old Port Pub at 94 Commercial Street closed Friday after more than 12 years in business. Photo by Claire Jeffers

Andy’s Old Port Pub, a fixture on Commercial Street in Portland for more than a dozen years, closed Friday.

An emotional Jennifer Fox, who owns the pub at 94 Commercial St. with her husband, Rick Frantz, said they made the decision to close on Friday morning after they discovered they would not be able to repair a walk-in cooler. It was, she said, the last straw in “a cacophony of incidents that all kind of came at the same time.”

“As much as I’m going to miss it – it was my own child – it was time,” Fox said.

Fox said another major factor in the decision to close was longstanding staffing issues. Those issues, she noted, are not going to go away anytime soon, and it is getting increasingly more difficult for her and her husband, at ages 64 and 73, to fill in where staffing is needed. “We were working a lot harder than we can do,” she said.

The 45-seat pub had 18 full- and part-time employees. As word got out Friday that the business had closed, Fox started fielding phone calls from restaurants around town asking her to send her employees their way.

Fox said business was good and the pub was making money, but the financial burden of having to replace the walk-in cooler would have been too much. Even if they had the cooler repaired, she said, the renovations would likely close the pub for weeks.

“If we wanted to, I think we could afford it,” Fox said. “It’s everything altogether. It’s just a very difficult staffing market.”

On Friday, after deciding the pub would not reopen, the couple loaded up all the food from the broken cooler and took it to the Preble Street Resource Center.

Andy’s was known for having live music every night, and for being a hangout for a tightknit community of islanders when they visited the mainland.

“It was a great, great, great neighborhood, and we’re really going to miss it,” Fox said. “As George Harrison said, ‘All things must pass.’ “


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