Brunswick resident Heather D. Martin wants to know what’s on your mind; email her at

I don’t know the actual numbers and stats, but I’m betting the odds are good that if you live in, or travel through, the Midcoast, you’ve stopped in at the Lincolnville Center General Store.

I know I have.

In fact, my family goes there a lot, even though it is a bit of a trek for us to get there. It’s worth it. It is the perfect mid-journey coffee stop between home and home-home, complete with clean bathrooms, good food (including wood fired pizza by the slice) and chocolate.

In addition to the small kitchen area at the back, the store offers some pre-made foods, gourmet groceries, local farm produce, fresh bread, craft beer and sparkly juices. Then, of course, there are the quirky little items that give it the “bit of everything” vibe.

I mention all this, dangling it enticingly before you all, because it is for sale.

Yes, you read that correctly: for sale. The whole thing. And selfishly, I really, really want someone with vision to buy it and keep it going so I have my favorite stopping point.


I know it’s geeky, but I sort of can’t explain in words how much I love this place. It’s just, well, I think maybe “sweet” is the word.

This was not always the case. As with so many things in our beloved, but decidedly rural, state, the general store had fallen on hard times. Nearly fallen apart completely. But, lucky for all of us (and especially for the town of Lincolnville), things took a turn.

Jon Fishman, drummer for the band Phish, and his then-wife Briar Lyons, bought the store back in 2017 and did what, to be honest, was needed – they threw money at it.

I do not mean that to be snide or flip. I am full-on sincere. There is a narrative out there that gets spun a lot – a narrative that roots for the underdog and tells us if we pour our heart and soul into something it will work. But honestly, money helps. A lot. Which is not to say that Fishman and Lyons didn’t pour heart and soul in as well, but drywall costs money and contractors need to get paid.

The fame helped, too. I will freely admit that when it first reopened to the public, we took the detour off the coastal road and into town because we knew about the Phish connection. As it happens, I have a bond there. Not the way you might think.

Back when Phish was a small little band eking out an existence by touring college campuses, I was a student at just such a college, College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor. Back then, Phish came up every year, until I, as student activities chair, canceled the contract due to the provisions required (beer) in their new rider.


I remember saying, with what now is bone crushing irony, “Who do they think they are?” That was 1992. A nanosecond later, they were huge.


The place is amazing and though they have parted ways, I applaud Fishman and Lyons. Together, they restored a magnificent old building, gave new life to a community at large and gave us all a glimpse of what investing in our towns can do.

I am hoping that a new owner comes along who is driven by that same sense of joy in creating something that serves the place where it sits.

If I might make a request? Maybe the stock can expand to include some less chi-chi items? Maybe the hours expand to include some mid-winter game nights or open mics? Maybe someone who remembers the old Left Bank Cafe in Blue Hill can swoop in and snap this place up and riff off that? OK, that’s me dreaming.

Whoever the lucky new owner turns out to be, may they understand and cherish the role that this place plays and steward it on for the next generation. The hearts of our small towns deserve to be cared for.

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