City Councilor Andrew Zarro has announced that he and his husband are closing Little Woodfords, their small but well-known Portland coffee shop, by the end of January.

They wrote on Instagram Friday that it was “time to say farewell” to their business “as it currently exists.”

Portland City Councilor Andrew Zarro

“So much has changed in the hospitality industry over the past few years, and it has become something so different from what we set out to do,” the post said.

Reached by phone late Friday, Zarro said the location’s lease was coming up, and they made the decision not to renew.

The Zarros first opened Little Woodfords a little less than five years ago at Woodfords Corner. Today, they’re located a few blocks from the Cumberland County Courthouse and City Hall. The shop has received several nods from national outlets, including Vogue, Bloomberg and Salon, the latter of which included Little Woodfords in a piece highlighting safe and sober places for the LGBTQ community.

“Queer spaces are so vital to the resiliency and well-being of our community, and it has been a true honor to hold space together,” Zarro’s post stated. “Celebrating you and honoring your beauty has been an absolute blessing.”

The business also has drawn some fire. In January 2022, Maine Republicans and the Daily Wire, a conservative news site co-founded by commentator Ben Shapiro, criticized the business for selling “abort Republicans” and “defund God” stickers.

Zarro said at the time that the stickers only drew attention after councilors voted in favor of his initiative to create Maine’s first municipal mask mandate in Portland. He said Friday that the attention to the stickers was retaliation for the mask mandate.

It is unclear what’s next for the location and the Zarros as local business owners. They asked patrons on Instagram to stay tuned for their next big adventure.

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