Cafe, apartment complex to open in Cumberland

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CUMBERLAND — Residents have said for years that the town needs more rental housing and a place to meet friends and share a meal.

Rebecca Williams hopes to satisfy both needs by opening Doc’s Cafe and Marketplace and a neighboring apartment building at the corner of Main Street and Tuttle Road.

The cafe, scheduled to open in late May, is being built in a 19th century building that was formerly Dr. Louis Hanson’s office – hence the name “Doc’s.” The front of the building is being renovated, with an eye toward keeping the oldest part as authentic as possible, while the rear is being rebuilt.

“(We’re) trying to keep as much as we can, and just make it better,” Williams said last week. “It’s sort of an institution in the center of town.”

The cafe and marketplace will be on the first floor, and there will be a dedicated space upstairs to be reserved for private functions. Another part of the second floor will be rental office space.

“Cumberland is a cool spot,” Williams said. “And we’ve got Foodstop in the center of town, but there’s no place to sit with people, so … the most social place you can go to is the athletic field.”

The cafe’s offerings will include coffee, tea, breakfast sandwiches and burritos, soups, salads and sandwiches for lunch. The hours will be 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week.

The five-unit apartment building stands on the site of a former barn, and it has been built in the style of that structure to maintain the feel of what used to stand at the street corner.

“It keeps the town center looking like the town center,” Williams said.

Even though they won’t be ready for occupancy until June 1, all of the 900-square-foot units have been rented out.

“They’re a really good fit for people who don’t want to be in a home, but want to be in Cumberland,” Williams said.

Williams lives in North Yarmouth with her husband, David Williams, who is a small business owner who has done much of the work on the two buildings, and their four children. The Williamses both grew up in Cumberland, and bought the property last fall.

Their newborn baby, also named David, has acquired the nickname of “Doc,” a nod to Hanson and the new cafe.

“We can say that we have two babies named Doc,” Williams said. “… They’re both a labor of love, that’s for sure.”

The cafe will soon have a website:

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

Sidebar Elements

Rebecca Williams is opening Doc’s Cafe and Marketplace, along with a neighboring apartment building, this spring at Main Street and Tuttle Road in Cumberland.

A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.