A fire at the future home of Brea Lu Cafe in Westbrook last week hasn’t discouraged owners Anna and Christian DeLuca from their plan to relocate the restaurant to Main Street from Cumberland Street, they said this week.

It’s the second time a fire has disrupted the DeLucas’ business.

A scene depicting the fire damage at 511 Main St., where Brea Lu hopes to open by June 1. Contributed / Christian DeLuca

Firefighters contained the March 31 blaze at 511 Main St. to an outbuilding, where a new stove hood and walk-in cooler were stored, ready to be installed in the new restaurant. Anna DeLuca said in an interview this week that she didn’t yet know the cost of replacing the damaged equipment or the availability of replacements.

“We’re frustrated, but we’re not going to give up,” she said.

The DeLucas moved Brea Lu to Cumberland Street after their restaurant on Forest Avenue in Portland was heavily damaged in a February 2016 fire that started in an upstairs apartment.

The couple had planned to move to their new Westbrook Main location about June 1. They’re still shooting for that date, DeLuca said, but it might be later. Meanwhile, they will operate at the Cumberland Mills site through April 23 and continue renovating the new restaurant space, which was previously occupied by rent-to-own store Full House Sales & Lease.


Westbrook Fire Chief Steve Sloan ruled the fire accidental. He didn’t have an immediate estimate on the extent of the damage or the value of the ruined equipment.

Westbrook Police Officer Michael Brooks called in the fire early on March 31. Brooks was patrolling Main Street when he noticed a “haze” on the street, according to a police department post on Facebook.

“He pulled over to investigate, smelled the smoke, and heard crackling from the business,” the police department wrote. Firefighters were able to contain and extinguish the fire before it could do more damage.

The fire was contained to an outbuilding at the future home of Brea Lu at 511 Main St. in Westbrook. Robert Lowell / American Journal

Joe and Sue Salisbury of The Daily Grind coffee shop in Westbrook are teaming up with the Sinful Kitchen in Portland to sponsor a fundraiser breakfast and auction for Brea Lu.

In 2022, Brea Lu hosted a fundraiser to benefit 14 out-of-work Sinful Kitchen employees after fire struck their building and forced the temporary closure of the restaurant. Christian Deluca and his staff worked a 20-hour shift and raised more than $4,000 for the workers.

Sue Salisbury said she and her husband planned to meet with The Sinful Kitchen this week to discuss fundraiser details and set a date for it.

“If you want to be involved or want to donate cash or something for the auction, come see me at the shack or send me a FB message. Let’s show this family how much this community cares about its residents,” Joe Salisbury posted on Facebook.

“We love the Westbrook community,” DeLuca said.

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