By Edith Tucker
The Berlin Sun
GORHAM — The “soft” opening of Eastern Depot’s brand-new home on the at 443 Main Street (Rte. 16) will begin from 6 a.m. to noon on, Saturday, July 20.
The Eastern Depot’s new 75-seat venue is in a free-standing building on the west side of the busy highway.
Its 18-foot-long sign is also making the move, said restaurant owner Michelle Cyr of Shelburne.
The Eastern Depot has been in operation for 24 years in the historic railroad station across from the Community Fields in Berlin.
Sunday, July 14, was its last day at its longtime location.
In the soft opening phase over the next two to three weeks, the Eastern Depot will maintain its current hours: 6 a.m.-2 p.m. for breakfast and lunch, Monday through Friday, and 6 a.m.-noon on Saturday and Sunday.
Then, likely in the early days of August, Cyr plans a Grand Opening to celebrate its being open for dinner, 4 p.m.-9 p.m., on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
A new menu has been created featuring home-cooked “comfort” food, all made from scratch: meatloaf, hot turkey dinner with all the fixings, steak tips, fish and chips from fresh haddock plus homemade French fries, and real vegetables. “We’ll meet demand,” Cyr said.
Although she aims to have a full liquor license, the food will remain first and not the bar. “It will be a homey place, warm and welcoming, with really good food,” Cyr said.
All her current employees are making the move, and some new ones have already been identified to work during the soon-to-be-realized longer evening hours.
Last week, workers from NorthWoods Construction LLC of Berlin, owned by Stephen Wooding of Berlin, were putting the finishing touches on the multi-month-long project of turning a long-vacant quick-lube and tire shop into a very attractive restaurant.
Cyr and landlord “Chip” Bean of Errol have partnered on this remarkable transformation.
Cyr’s mother, Louise Faucher, and her business partner started Eastern Depot. Her partner eventually left to start Fagin’s Pub, and Michelle Cyr became her mother’s partner. After 23 years at the landmark restaurant, her mother retired.
Cyr and her husband, Gorham Police Chief P.J. Cyr, have three grown children. Her two daughters work regularly at the Eastern Depot. Olivia, who graduated last month from Gorham Middle High School, will soon start a dental assistant’s program, and her older sister, Devon, is enrolled in a nursing program.
Cameron is an Army captain who is stationed out West where he flies Black Hawk helicopters. He and his wife, Rebecca “Bek,” have a three-year-old son, Landon. The whole family was able to attend Olivia’s graduation on June 7.