Written by Grace Lommel : DEXTER – The former Agway building on the Dover Road (Route 7) between the Dexter fire station and the redemption center was bought by Dexter resident Brenda Brooks. Brooks plans to open a 100-seat restaurant in May.
"It's always been a dream of mine," said Brooks. "I've worked in restaurants all my life. I like people and restaurant atmospheres."
Brooks plans to serve American affordable lunches and dinners. She also plans to use local produce. "You might pay a little more but it tastes good and is fresh," she noted.
Despite the building's age and 13 years of vacancy, "The building is in pretty decent shape," according to contractor Dwayne Fillmore who has begun renovations.
The 1886 depot freight office is the second of two that were built in Dexter said local historian Frank Spizuoco. Brooks' depot was built when the railroad moved its tracks to run to Dover-Foxcroft. The last passenger train stopped service in the early 1930s and the freight service in the 1980s, according to Dexter Historical Society member Rick Whitney.
Sometime before WWI, the Keyte Brothers bought the property from the railroad and moved the depot freight office away from the tracks and closer to the road as an office for their trucking business. The freight shed has not moved.
The Keytes trucked coal, coke and iron from the railroad to supply the mills and the now-closed FayScott manufacturing plant. During WWI, their loads back to the depot included lathes and bullet-making machines according to Peter Keyte. In the late 1940s, looms and woolen mill machinery were shipped to China.
The Keytes sold the property in 1964 to Leo Chadbourne of Dover-Foxcroft who ran the Dexter Agway store until he retired in 1998 and closed the business. The property has been vacant since then.
Brooks said she chose this property because of the view of Little Lake Wassookeag, the snowmobile and ATV trail access on the old railroad bed behind her and Route 7 in front.
Both the town and the Small Business Administration have been very supportive of her business plans, according to Brooks.
"Right now it's just a dream. But I figure if you like what you do, you do it," said Brooks."This content originally appeared as a copyrighted article in the SVWeekly.com and is used here with permission."
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