Remember the Lobster Boat Cafe in the Maine Mall in South Portland?
Over the course of the Maine Mall's entire existence, there have been plenty of businesses come and go through the years. Retail can be a tough game, just as tough as the restaurant business. One of the key elements of the Maine Mall has always been its expansive food court, filled with various options to meet each person's taste. So when a restaurant decided to open in the mall but not in the food court back in 2014, it was met with some excitement.
For months, the construction of a lobster boat in mall was met with intrigue. Located near what was once Gap as well as Sports Authority, the lobster boat that was constructed was meant for Linda Bean's Lobster Boat Cafe.
The Lobster Boat Cafe was one of the many business ventures created by L.L. Bean's granddaughter, Linda Bean. The Lobster Boat Cafe intended to serve fresh Maine lobster rolls in a unique setting for the Maine Mall. But as Linda Bean quickly discovered, even the best laid plans don't work out.
About a year and a half after opening the Lobster Boat Cafe, Linda Bean closed it. According to The Portland Press Herald, the main reason cited was the lack of tourism foot traffic inside the mall. The Lobster Boat Cafe had been charging coastal tourism town prices for their lobster rolls and it was eye-opening for customers used to paying much less for meals at Arby's or Panda Express.
In 2016, Linda Bean decided to step into retirement. Her name can still be found on several businesses, including the popular Linda Bean's Maine Kitchen located directly across from the L.L. Bean flagship store in Freeport, Maine.