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‘New’ Bar Harbor expected to reopen in early 2012

ar Harbor, the restaurant on County Highway 77 near Lake Shore, as it looked bef1 / 2
Now, Bar Harbor has a new exterior look with renovations continuing inside. Land2 / 2

Bar Harbor’s renovation continues near Lake Shore, with a new exterior look and extensive changes expected inside.

Landscaping efforts have added numerous trees, including many good-sized pines, to the property, framing the parking areas.

Owner John Allen said he is pleased with the direction they are going.

“We continue to progress very nicely and ahead of schedule,” Allen said earlier this week.

Allen said he does not have a name of the restaurant operator at this time and is still talking with three to four different groups. Allen said talks are with groups who may be interested in operating the restaurant or leasing the space and operating it.

Bar Harbor, initially forecast to reopen at Christmastime, is now expected to open after the New Year.

“I think it will be well worth the wait with the changes and modifications we are making,” Allen said.

“The Oranges are Sweet,” the book about a Minnesota World War II flying ace, written by Wadena County resident Paul Sailer, has been flying off the shelves at Book World.

The Baxter retailer reported they’ve already had to get a second shipment of books to meet demand and readers are asking for a book signing event, which they hope to set up with Sailer.

There are pending deals on the former Photo Center building at the corner of Excelsior Road and Golf Course Drive in Baxter and in the former City Looks building off Northwest Fifth Street, which once housed Career Clothes. The properties are listed by Close-Converse Commercial and Preferred Properties.The former City Looks site was bank-owned and listed for sale at $249,000, reduced from $324,900.

A shake shop is coming to the Midtown Shopping Center near the intersection of South Sixth and Washington streets near the historic water tower, meaning the center is now full of tenants.

In an article for the trade publication Finance & Commerce, Chris Close, Close-Converse, reported last month that Costco’s announced plans to build a store by Home Depot “has driven many other nationals to focus on the undeveloped sites near the store.” Close wrote Olive Garden, IHop, Discount Tire, Michaels, Petco and “several other national companies are actively pursuing locations near” Walmart and the proposed Costco.

Just to get a glimpse at what properties are listed for in that area. Close-Converse has a 1.4 acre site at the corner of Glory Road and Isle Drive in Baxter by the stoplight intersection at the Walmart Supercenter and J.C. Penney’s listed for sale at $850,000. The lot next to it off Glory Road is listed as pending.

The average retirement age is now 65.5, higher than traditional measures suggest, the Economic Policy Institute recently reported in a briefing paper titled “The Myth of Early Retirement.”

The latest job-seekers ratio from the Economic Policy Institute shows the ratio of unemployed workers to job openings was 4.2-to-1 in September, an improvement from the August ratio of 4.5-to-1.

“September marks just over three years in a row that the job-seeker’s ratio has been at or above 3-to-1,” the report noted. “A job-seeker’s ratio of more than 4-to-1 means that for more than three out of four unemployed workers, there simply are no jobs.”

RENEE RICHARDSON may be reached at or 855-5852. Follow on Twitter @Dispatchbizbuzz.