Krista Cole, owner of Sur Lie restaurant in Portland, has purchased Gather, a community-minded, farm-to-table restaurant in an old Masonic Hall on Main Street in Yarmouth.

Cole does not intend to remake the space or the restaurant in any grand way. Rather, she plans to “refine it a little bit and look forward to the next 10 years of Gather and what we can do even more than what they’ve already built.”

Cole has kept on Gather’s 14 employees, and said the chefs at Sur Lie and Gather have collaborated on a new menu that is debuting this week.

Gather’s founder and former owner, Matt Chappell, announced last summer that he intended to sell the restaurant after a decade in business. The sale closed on Jan. 12, Cole said. She paid $225,000 for the business, which includes 70 seats inside and another 40 outside. The building itself is leased.

Cole said she and Chappell were friends, knew one another from the restaurant world, and dined at each other’s restaurants. Gather interested her because she and Chappell have “similar visions. Our commitment to community, and to purchasing local, sustainable food, aligned perfectly.”

While buying a second restaurant mid-pandemic “wasn’t ideal timing,” Cole conceded, “it was a really amazing opportunity, so we just went for it.”


Cole opened Sur Lie, on Free Street in Portland, in 2014. Today, she has a staff of 12 and serves what she describes as “eclectic new American tapas.” She is the sole owner of both restaurants.

“I am very hopeful and confident that Krista will do well,” Chappell said Wednesday night in a telephone interview. He praised Cole for operating a restaurant in Portland during the challenges posed by COVID-19.

Chappell said her commitment to keeping Gather’s employees meant a lot to him.

The sale “was really the best-case scenario for me,” he said.

Chappell said he has no definite plans for the future, but suspects his next venture may involve something related to food.

“I love what is happening with the food industry in Maine,” Chappell said.

Staff Writer Dennis Hoey contributed to this story

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