Store's move brightens Bryant Pond village
POSTED AUG. 19-“I didn't want to open up just a cleaned-up Village Store,” said Bob Breau. “I wanted to 'Wow!' the people.”
After 20 years on the outskirts of Bryant Pond, just up the road and snuggled up uncomfortably close to Route 26, Breau's “Too” has moved to the former Village Store, in the heart of town.
And it's a move the townspeople have welcomed, said Town Manager Vern Maxfield. “There's a tremendous amount of excitement, and people are delighted that we're going to have gasoline again,” he said, as well as a central place to meet and socialize.
The outside of the building has already been brightened up with a coat of yellow paint, and Breau has been at work since July 2 completely renovating the interior.
“That's the day we closed on building,” he said, “and we came right over and started work.”
From a business perspective, the primary advantage of the new building is space, he said.
At just under 3,000 square feet (including the 20-seat restaurant) the new building is three time the size of the old, and that will allow him to carry far more inventory
Beer, for example, will line the wall in a walk-in cooler. “We'll have the 12-packs, the 30-packs, more microbrews and such, and you can just walk right in.”
And there's the gasoline. “That will be a big item for us,” he said.
The spacious outside of the property also provides far more parking, as well as easier and safer access to and from Route 26
There has been a Breau's “Too” in Bryant Pond for 20 years. Bob purchased the original building in 1994, from his brother Rick, who had operated a convenience story there for five or so years.
Bob left a well-paying job at Beth Iron Works to take the plunge. “It was a good job, with benefits,” he said, “but this was something I always wanted to do.”
And still does, despite work weeks the regularly run 60 to 70 hours, he said, and do take their toll. “Come 4 o'clock in the afternoon, I get pretty cranky,” he admitted.
In the old location he employed just under a dozen people (including his wife, Cathy, and himself), half of them part-timers. He expects to employ at least that many in the new location, perhaps more, depending on how the restaurant works out.
One regular customer, Keith Durgin, thinks it will work out very well.
Durgin lives in Newry, but works near the Bethel-Locke Mills line, and he goes to Breau's “maybe four days a week, sometimes seven.
“You can't beat Rick Breau and his brother Bob – they're just excellent restaurant people,” Durgin said. “We're pleased he's moving to a bigger place and a better location. They do take care of a lot of us who are regulars.”
Opening Day at the new location is today, Thursday, Aug. 19, but the former shipyard worker has decided on a shakedown cruise before holding a “Grand Opening” celebration.
That is set for Columbus Day weekend, and will feature full service at the gas pumps, from shirt-and-tie attired attendants.