Owner/chef Chris Wilcox plates roasted pork loin at Judy Gibson restaurant in South Portland Wednesday on December 22, 2021. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

Judy Gibson, the restaurant tucked in the Knightville neighborhood in South Portland, announced on Instagram Saturday that it would close permanently on Nov. 19.

Following its opening in March 2020, just two weeks before the coronavirus pandemic hit Maine, it was voted Best New Restaurant in 2021 in the Press Herald and was among the newspaper’s Best 75 places to eat and drink this year.

Chef and owner Chris Wilcox wrote in an Instagram post that the restaurant would close. “I cannot begin to express the sadness I feel as I write this. The last four years of my life have been wholly dedicated to Judy Gibson. We opened on March 4th of 2020 and were forced to close ten days later because of the global pandemic,” the Instagram post said. “We lost 80% of our operating capital in those first four months. Once we were able to open again for outdoor dining we saw a strong surge in revenue and had a great summer to help keep us pushing through.”


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The post went on to say that while business had picked up this year, it was not enough to keep it going. Wilcox said in the post that he made the decision to close this month to ensure he could pay its staff and vendors in full, and would reimburse all gift cards with remaining balances.

“We did not receive any large federal financial assistance and have been riding the highs and lows of seasonality in Maine ever since. We’ve fried chicken and made corndogs to allow for Judy Gibson to continue as we always wanted to be,” the post continued. “This past summer was good, but not good enough to sustain us through the slower months of winter.”

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