60 jobless after South Portland Bugaboo Creek Steakhouse abruptly closes

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SOUTH PORTLAND — Bugaboo Creek Steakhouse, open for more than 20 years at 264 Gorham Road, closed suddenly this week, leaving 60 employees without jobs.

The shutdown followed the closing of the Bugaboo Creek Steakhouse in Bangor last week.

Former Bugaboo Creek employees have been invited to meet with the state Department of Labor’s Rapid Response Team at 1 p.m. Tuesday, June 28, at Greater Portland CareerCenter, 151 Jetport Blvd., Portland, DOL spokeswoman Julie Rabinowitz said in a June 22 news release.

Rapid Response staff can assist former employees in collecting unemployment benefits, and offer information about health insurance options and help with re-employment, Rabinowitz said.

Known for its rustic decor and “talking” wildlife animatronics, the restaurant was a fixture in the Maine Mall area since fall 1995. City Planning & Development Deputy Director Patricia Doucette on Thursday said the first certificate of occupancy was granted in October 1995.

“It was part of the original development of Clarks Pond,” Doucette said.

The company has closed other New England restaurants this spring, including  Newington, New Hampshire, and Milford, Massachusetts, in May. According to the company website, the only Bugaboo Creek Steakhouse in New England is now in Nashua, New Hampshire.

Twelve New England restaurants were bought at auction by RRGK LLC as part of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filed in Delaware by CB Holding Corp. in 2011, according to U.S. Bankruptcy Court records.

The stretch of Gorham Road continues to have a vibrant restaurant scene, including the new Tilted Kilt restaurant, which opened this spring. The Shops at Clarks Pond, however, have had a reversal of fortune: retailers Bob’s Discount Stores, HomeGoods and Marshalls left for Scarborough last year.

This spring, however, Eastpoint Christian Church announced plans to move into 92,000 square feet formerly occupied by Bob’s and HomeGoods.

David Harry can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or dharry@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidHarry8.

Bugaboo Creek Steakhouse on Gorham Road in South Portland closed this week. Former employees are invited to meet with Department of Labor staff on June 29.

An announcement taped to the door at the Bugaboo Creek restaurant in South Portland says the restaurant is closed and thanks customers for their patronage.

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Portland City Hall reporter for The Forecaster. Baltimore native, lived in Maine since 1989. A journalist since 2005, covering much of Cumberland and York counties. I joined The Forecaster in 2012.
  • wollydevil

    Ive been saying this all the time if a place is going to close they should be forced to give a 30 day notice . when i told that to lapage our gov. in Maine he said no

    • Webba

      Why would you think it makes any sense to give a 30 day notice? Many times a business is trying to stay open and do what it needs to turn things around so giving a notice makes no sense. If you want to open your own place up and abide by foolishness like that feel free.

      • wollydevil

        So when places do that they are telling there people we don’t care about you . when was the Last time you heard of a business owner go out of business and then go and get food stamps . No there were saving all the money they could before they closed their doors so they knew they would closing but will tell no one else .

        • Chew H Bird

          I have known several business owners over the past few decades that have closed abruptly due to reasons beyond their control. At least three of them had performed work for other businesses that failed to pay. I remember when I started my first business I had three original clients who had been in business for many years, one went belly up within a month, one moved out of state, and one decided to pay a few bucks every month for the next 3 years. I was fortunate to have enough savings to get through, but this type of stuff happens frequently and many folks are under capitalized and are forced to close their doors without notice.

          • wollydevil

            So why did the business tell it’s workers that right off so those that wanted to leave could ?

          • Chew H Bird

            Because most businesses around here are small and most business owners feel responsible for the workers. I have had the privilege of having a couple of small businesses and if we were short on money I was the one who went without a paycheck, not the employees. When I closed down a business I helped the employees find other jobs. That said, I am fortunate to have been able to provide a living for my employees when I had them and they worked hard to help me build my businesses. Not everyone is that fortunate.

            A friend of mine in New York lost hundreds of thousands in bad debt on several key accounts in less than a week and went belly up. His employees received no notice. Stuff happens.

            If a business tells employees things are tight, the majority of todays workers jump ship, unlike 30 years ago when everyone pulled together to make things work. Loyalty, (both ways), is gone for most companies and for their employees. Loyalty needs to be both ways or it simply doesn;t work.

        • Webba

          It’s clear why you are buying a couch on layaway genius.

      • wollydevil

        So you are okay with a business closing with no notice . Okay say you put 500 bucks down of a living room set and the next day it closes and there is no way to contact them and you lose 500 bucks that’s ok with you ?

        • Carole Dearborn

          When all your workers find new jobs and you still have 15 days left that you have to stay open because of the “30 day deal”….what then……cook, clean, wait tables and seat customers yourself?

          • wollydevil

            Yes that’s they should do . So what you are saying is that the workers have no right to know when a business is closing.

          • Carole Dearborn

            I’m saying a business should not be forced to operate 30 days after they decide to no longer operate.

          • wollydevil

            No you close up

        • Webba

          If you had any sense you’d understand d why a law like that would be ridiculous.

          • wollydevil

            Well let hope you put no money down on a product and they close and you loose all that money

          • Chew H Bird

            This is why people should avoid these types of offers, (as I learned way back in the 1970s and is generally common knowledge)… If you want to put something on a payment plan, use a credit card as they are required to reimburse you for a loss.

          • wollydevil

            Can you use a credit card for a 20,000 dollar payment to have a prefab made ?

          • Chew H Bird

            Credit cards can be used for a payment cycle, (monthly billing) for layaway, or for a deposit.

          • Webba

            No need to hope. I don’t use layaway. IF I cant buy it right then I don’t do it.
            Maybe someday you will grasp why your idea is so ridiculous.

          • wollydevil

            It’s all ready happen is maine . it’s been in the papers and on tv .

          • Webba

            Wow never mind.

      • Hank Yahu Jr.

        They ripped my family off $500 gift cards THAT’S WHY !!!!

        • Webba

          Sucks to be you then.

  • Webba

    The article mentions that a church is moving in to 92,00 s.f.of the old malls that are vacant as if this is a great deal for the area. Well a church is a non-profit so it won’t be paying any property taxes on all that space.

  • Vince

    Awful food and “Affordable Care Act” = Closed for Business

  • Rahaman Kargar

    Feel free to submit your applications to Pine Tree Consultants LLC we are currently hiring! Located on Forest Ave in Portland! 1-877-250-3596

  • Hank Yahu Jr.

    They ripped me off 500.00 gift card in Bangor, tell me to go to S. Portland and they will honor them. Next day my family of 4 drive all the way to S. Portland and sign on the door says “closed for business permanently” they are frauds and thieves !!