Matt Chappell, the owner of Gather in Yarmouth, announced Sunday that the farm-to-table restaurant is for sale.

Diners enjoy Sunday brunch at Gather in Yarmouth on Sept. 1, 2019. Michele McDonald

Chappell said in an email Monday that he had originally planned to list the restaurant in 2019 or 2020, but then the pandemic hit “and I felt compelled to carry on for both the staff and the restaurant itself.”

“The last 18 months have been tough for sure, but also challenging in a refreshing kind of way,” he said. “Carhops, takeout, fire-pit dining – it was all new and you had to think on your feet.”

But now, he said, feels like the right time to put the restaurant on the market.

When Gather opened nine years ago in the old Masonic Hall on Main Street, Chappell’s goal was to provide a family-friendly spot for locals to gather, for brunch or an evening out with friends. A communal table added to the convivial atmosphere, and Chappell often brought in live music. During the pandemic, he added lawn and deck seating.

The restaurant quickly became known for its use of local foods, and in 2014 Chappell added an unusual twist to that philosophy, launching a garden-barter program in which home gardeners could trade their surplus produce for restaurant credit. Gather’s eclectic menu features everything from Maine oysters and Casco Bay fish tacos to locally raised, grass-fed beef and Neapolitan pizzas made with local ingredients.

At the time Gather opened, the town had plenty of pizza parlors and sandwich shops, but – other than the Royal River Grillhouse –  few options for sit-down dining. Restaurants opened occasionally, but didn’t seem to last long. As the town has grown during the past few years, it has welcomed the fine-dining restaurant The Garrison, as well as casual sit-down spots like the Owl & Elm and Brickyard Hollow pubs. And in February, the owner of The Garrison opened Thoroughfare, a takeout place with attentively made burgers, ice cream and such.

Chappell wrote on social media that he is looking for a buyer “that will lead Gather for the next 10 years.” He said the restaurant will remain open during the transition to a new owner.

According to the online listing, the business, which leases the Masonic Hall, is priced at $225,000.

Chappell did not share any specifics about his plans, but said he hopes they involve the Maine food system in some shape or form.

Before becoming a restaurateur, Chappell worked in the natural products industry, including Tom’s of Maine, which was founded by his parents.


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