Matt Troiano closed School Street Pub & Grill last weekend. Robert Lowell / American Journal

GORHAM — The owner of School Street Pub & Grill closed it at midnight Jan. 18 after just a little more than a year of operating it.

“I just got burned out fairly quickly,” Matt Troiano said the day before it closed. “I feel a sense of relief.”

School Street Pub & Grill closes in Gorham. Robert Lowell / American Journal

But he’ll miss the many faithful patrons, he said.

One, Janice Nelsen of Buxton, said she learned about the closing on Facebook.

“It’s so sad, very sad,” Nelsen said.

Nelsen was a regular, often dropping by the pub after work. She stopped in to eat on Friday, the day before it closed.

“I’ve always been comfortable coming in alone,” Nelsen said.

The restaurant opened in 2016, and Troiano, a Westbrook resident, then was a bartender. He took over the business 14 months ago. Kitchen help was really hard to get, Troiano said, citing the low unemployment rate.

He said he worked six days a week “putting in crazy hours.”

He notified his 12 employees at the staff’s New Year’s party of his intent to close. In a Facebook post, he praised staff members as “trustworthy and loyal.” Most have secured other jobs.

“I made some phone calls to other employers I know,” he said.

Barbie Asali of Portland, who worked at the pub since 2017, was on duty Friday. She has a job lined up.

“I always land on my feet,” she said.

Troiano said he thinks a similar business likely will move into the building, owned by Jon Smith of Great Falls Construction, because the location is good, right in the center of town. And, Asali added, “Gorham is a great community.”

Troiano said the restaurant business just wasn’t for him.

“I prefer working for a company,” he said.

Nelsen said she’ll miss the place.

“Matt always has a smile,” she said.

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