Wyler’s, located at 150 Maine Street, closed last week after 28 years in business. Contributed Photo

BRUNSWICK — After nearly 30 years as a downtown mainstay, Wyler’s, the pottery studio-turned “modern general store” at the corner of Maine and Pleasant streets has closed its doors. 

Owners Sylvia Wyler and Sharon Smiley announced the closure on social media last month. 

“After 28 years, lots of ups and downs, mostly ups, we feel it’s time,” they wrote. “A while back we bought two little cottages on the coast in Costa Rica. After we walk away from the register for the last time, you’ll find us swinging in hammocks, sun on our faces, blue butterflies floating by….” 

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic forcing the store to close for nearly three months this spring, Smiley and Wyler said they were feeling the love, and  “that’s a very sweet note to end on.” 

Wyler’s joins a growing list of Maine Street businesses that have shuttered in recent months: Maine Street Sweets, Benchwarmers Sports Pub, Pedro O’Hara’s and Timeless Cottage have all announced closures. 

Wyler’s was a great shop and its absence will leave a hole, Debora King, executive director of the Brunswick Downtown Association said, but she’s not worried. 

There has been a flurry of interest in the recently vacated storefronts, she said, and building owners are currently sifting through the inquiries. 

“I don’t anticipate they will be empty for very long,” she said. 

“It’s really fascinating to see what’s going on out there. We were missing out on investments, and that’s a great position to be in, but now that a few (spots) have opened up, there’s opportunity there,” she said. 

The former Maine Street Sweets, which, anticipating a slower than usual summer season, closed last month for economic reasons. It will soon be occupied by Cathy Flaherty, who runs Residential Mortgage Services. 

Flaherty and her husband purchased the building in June. 

The Residential Mortgage Services Office has been based on Pleasant Street for more than 20 years, but will soon be demolished to make way for Brunswick’s new fire station. 

Flaherty said the chance to purchase the building, which also houses Massage on Main, Bayview Gallery and Mid Coast Pilates among others was the “opportunity of a lifetime.” 

Maine Street is vibrant and her new office will be the heart of the community, she sad, adding that she is looking forward to getting to know the downtown community more and being able to stop into a restaurant for lunch or pick up dinner on the way home. 

“We feel blessed,” she said. 

Benchwarmers also did not stay “vacant” for long: property owner John Snell and local restaurateur Mike Jerome teamed up to revive the longtime sports pub, giving it a new look, (mostly) new menu and new name, Bench. 

Jerome is the co-owner of Brunswick’s Portland Pie, and within the last year opened Bolos Kitchen, Cantina and Candelpin, and purchased the landmark Fat Boy Drive In

“There are people out there who are looking to invest in downtown Brunswick,” King said. 

It’s unclear what might fill the shoes of Pedro O’Hara’s, Timeless Cottage or Wyler’s, but as a downtown director, King said she hopes it’s another retail location to help round out the area’s many restaurants. 

“It would add to the mix of the businesses downtown,” she said, but it’s obviously a business decision.  

The Brunswick Downtown Association has been busy, working to fill the holes created by not only departing businesses, but also canceled events, like the Music on the Mall concert series and annual art walk. 

The association remodeled the mall concert series into a drive-in style music venue, with cars parked at the Parks and Recreation Department parking lot on Brunswick Landing. The concert series kicks off July 15.

The downtown’s monthly Second Friday ArtWalks celebrations will also resume, starting July 10th.

Artists, performers and vendors will be spaced more than six feet apart for social distancing and will wear face coverings.

Safety is always the first priority, King said, but the downtown is “persistent.” 

“We’re going to make things happen,” she said.

Comments are not available on this story.