Jim Guidi, shown here shortly after opening Louie’s Grille in Cumberland, said running the restaurant fulfilled a lifelong dream. File photo / The Forecaster

After a successful decade running a popular community restaurant, Jim Guidi will close Louie’s Grille in Cumberland Center next week.

“It’s been wonderful,” Guidi said.

But the restaurant business is also exhausting, he said, and he’s ready for a break to spend more time with family.

Guidi opened the family restaurant in 2014, the culmination of a lifelong dream. His goal from the start was to create a welcoming, community gathering space, and by all accounts, he succeeded.

One of the biggest rewards of owning and managing the restaurant was hiring Greely High School students and watching their growth, he said. Heavily involved in the school sports scene, Guidi especially enjoyed hiring kids he had previously coached.

Jim Guidi with his children, Tanya and Dan. Contributed / Jim Guidi

“They’re amazing adults now,” Guidi said. “I’m not going to take all the credit, but it’s something I’m proud of.”


He often hosted Greely Football Boosters pancake breakfasts at Louie’s Grille and also served pregame dinners to Greely sports teams.

Greely Football Boosters President John Stewart said the restaurant will be sorely missed.

“It’s definitely a huge loss for the community,” Stewart said.

Guidi has been great to work with over the years, he said, but “I know Jim will still be around and will still be coaching the kids.”

Guidi currently coaches the kindergarten and first grade flag football team.

Residents have taken to Facebook to express their gratitude to Guidi and how sad they were to see the restaurant go. One resident likened Louie’s to “as close to Cheers as you can get,” referring to the establishment, made famous in the old TV show, “where everybody knows your name.” Another posted that Louie’s Grille “was a place that made me feel at home.” Parents wrote thanking Guidi for hiring their children and working around school sports schedules. Others noted his community service as part of the Lions Club and as a volunteer for many local events.

Guidi is in talks with a potential buyer interested in the restaurant property, but said it’s too early to make any kind of announcement about what comes next for the space.

As for Guidi, a real estate developer in addition to restaurateur, he plans to still be active in the Cumberland community. But he won’t miss the long days of work at the restaurant, he said, and he looks forward to spending time and traveling with his grandchildren and significant other.

“It’s been very rewarding,” Guidi said. “But I’m 61 years old and it’s time to slow down a little bit.”

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