Server Justin Bourgoine chats with Sandra Lipsey and Bill Shain, of Falmouth, at Helm Oyster Bar & Bistro in April 2022. Michele McDonald/Photo Editor, file

Helm Oyster Bar & Bistro, a favorite seafood restaurant on the Portland waterfront, announced Saturday that it will close March 8, prompting an outpouring of disappointment on social media.

“Our journey may be complete, but the spirit and memories of the last three years are forever and ever,” owner and wine director Elizabeth Legere wrote on Instagram. “As you can imagine, I have a million words I could say, and maybe I will someday. But for right now, I just want to say THANK YOU!”

Reached at the bistro Saturday evening, and backed by the clamor of a busy dining room, Legere said she was unable to discuss the pending closure during the dinner rush but would at another time.

In her Instagram post, Legere thanked her staff “for being here every day, ready to work hard to feed and nourish, while dodging every wrench that has been thrown.” She also thanked Helm’s suppliers and farmers for delivering the best food and drink in Maine to the restaurant at 60 Thames St., near the Ocean Gateway Pier.

“And thank you to every single person that walked through our doors and took a chance on us,” she wrote. “Come see us before we go – we raise a glass to you! Cheers, Lizzie.”

Nearly 300 followers had responded to the post, many saying they were “devastated” or “heartbroken” because they have enjoyed the food and service provided by a kind and knowledgeable team.

“So, so sad about this,” one regular customer wrote. “My favorite place to dine in Portland! You will be greatly missed. Definitely will be in soon to have one last amazing meal.”

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