‘Carry All Corner’ coming this fall

The artist’s drawing on a sign at Justin McIver’s property at Cottage and Main Streets in Bridgton shows his plan for the Carry All Corner, a 5,000-square-foot mixed-use building to replace the former Sportshaus (summer location), as well as the earlier gift shop for which the building was named.

The artist’s drawing on a sign at Justin McIver’s property at Cottage and Main Streets in Bridgton shows his plan for the Carry All Corner, a 5,000-square-foot mixed-use building to replace the former Sportshaus (summer location), as well as the earlier gift shop for which the building was named.

By Gail Geraghty

Staff Writer

Plans are in the making for a new two-story mixed use building to be built this fall at 103 Main Street in the heart of downtown Bridgton.

Property owner Justin McIver said Monday that the lot where the Sportshaus (summer location) once stood, at the corner of Cottage and Main, will be transformed into the Carry All Corner, with a new gourmet deli and specialty food store on the first floor, two other retail businesses and three professional offices upstairs.

McIver, owner of the energy-efficient homebuilding company Main Eco Homes in Bridgton, said he has an agreement with Barbara Bloomberg to occupy the ground floor as Towanda’s Specialty Foods & Deli. The restaurant will offer takeout as well as both indoor and outdoor patio seating for 30.

“We aim to offer busy lives a convenient and healthy alternative to dining, by combining the quality of gourmet dishes with the convenience of takeout,” Bloomberg said in an e-mail.

A site plan has been submitted to the Bridgton Planning Board for the .23-acre site, which McIver purchased last year after Sportshaus closed its summer location doors (the retailer continues to operate the West Bridgton store). He hopes to begin construction this September and be finished by next January. The building was one of the older buildings on Main Street, but its condition had deteriorated badly, and McIver had it demolished last November.

The new building will be directly across the street from Beth’s Café, and adjacent to Amato’s, another popular eatery. McIver said Towanda’s will bring an added benefit to everyone’s business.

“What is it they say — a rising tide floats all boats? It will be a complement. The more places you have to offer, the better for all,” he said.

McIver said he also has “very serious” prospective tenants for the two other retail spaces on the ground floor. The building will feature traditional clapboard siding and large window space on the first floor along Main Street. The sign will be placed at the northern corner of the site, displaying the names of the building tenants. There’ll also be a 13-space parking lot behind the building, accessed via Cottage Street.

McIver said he plans to use the original granite foundation stones in constructing a raised patio at the front of the building to provide restaurant seating and retail display space. The patio will be accessed by stairs from the Main Street sidewalk.

Bloomberg describes her vision for Towanda’s as a “fun, adventurous retail specialty shop, where you can stop in and grab a bite to eat, or dash in and pick up a quick meal to take home for tonight's dinner.” She said she plans to offer salads, homemade entrees, made-to-order deli sandwiches using fresh baked artisan breads, pies and desserts.

“We will offer the convenience of meals to go, with the option to dine in. We will offer a limited breakfast menu of scones, muffins and breakfast pizzas and sandwiches. For lunch and dinner, we will offer panni, wraps and deli sandwiches, salads, soups, chowders and chili, a varied assortment of entrees, (available fresh from the deli case or frozen) and desserts.”

In addition to prepared dishes, Bloomberg said she will stock a variety of gourmet foods including chocolate, specialty-flavored oils, coffee, tea, salty snacks and chutneys. There’ll also be nonfood items such as coffees and teas, along with mugs, teapots and creamers.

McIver said the name he chose for the building, Carry All Corner, harkens back to the 1950s, when a gift shop by that name was operated out of the building, then owned by John Cox.

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