Cape Elizabeth women purchase former Griffin Club property in South Portland

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SOUTH PORTLAND — The Griffin Club on Ocean Street has been purchased by a company owned by two Cape Elizabeth women, one of whom is a long-time Portland-area musician.

Penny Prior and Ginger Cote are the principals of P&G Developers, which closed the deal Monday, according to a press release that did not reveal the purchase price.

The nearly 5,800-square-foot building, built in 1900, was listed for sale for $599,000 in February by Byron and Audry Castro of Cape Elizabeth.

“We’re thrilled to own the Griffin Club property and delighted to be joining the vibrant community that lives and works in Knightville,” Cote, a drummer, said in the statement released by Eric Wilson of Excellence Realty. “Our plans aren’t firm yet, but we know food and music will be part of whatever we do.”

A native Mainer, Cote began playing the drums at age 6. By the time she turned 18 she was a full-time musician. She spent several years touring the U.S. and overseas with performers including Bonnie Raitt, Lucinda Williams and Emmylou Harris, as well as Portland’s Cyd Bullens and Darien Brahms, according to the press release.

Prior was raised outside Washington, D.C. After building websites for major media brands she transitioned into teaching. She has been an elementary and technology teacher for 10 years.

Prior said it’s exciting to own the landmark property where Eddie Griffin and his family operated a sports pub for more than 40 years. The bar’s most recent owner, Scott Parker, closed the business last Wednesday, May 31.

“The Griffin Club has long been an institution in South Portland,” Prior said in the press release. “It was a true community space, and we aim to carry that tradition forward.”

The new owners said they hope it will be possible to renovate the Griffin Club building.

“In the coming weeks our team will evaluate all of the options,” Cote said. “We look forward to talking with the city of South Portland and others in the community about our ideas.”

The Griffin Club on Ocean Street in South Portland has been sold to Penny Prior and Ginger Cote of Cape Elizabeth.

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  • We love the Griffin Club so we kicked them out… Unless you serve really cheap beer then they have already alienated the people who actually made the Griff the place that it was. I hope it doesn’t turn out as bad as the brewery down the street. Expensive drinks drinks for condo people. Just please tell me that they aren’t going to cater to loser hipsters.

    • Deepcove

      Sadly, probably too late. I’m guessing the terms “local”..”sustainable”..”hand crafted”…etc., await the Griff’s future. Knightville is going the way of “Hipster Hill” (formerly a/k/a Munjoy Hill).

      • Eyes Wide Open

        The only sad thing here is your comment. They didn’t kick out The Griff, the former owner did. ANd that place was run down, disgusting and it smelled like cat pee. I have photos of what was left behind. Rotted wood floors, unsanitary bathrooms, exposed wires. I’m shocked it passed any of it’s health inspections. And no, I’m not one of the new owners, nor do I have anything invested in the new place. I’m just a local who is quite happy to see this kind of change come into our neighborhood. If you had it your way, we’d all be driving horses and buggy’s. Remember, everything thing you enjoy in Knightville is the product of progress and change. It doesn’t just stop when you get what you want.

    • Eyes Wide Open

      Way to cast judgment without knowing anything about this. I’ve worked with these two women and I know how important it is to them that they create a nice place that the community will enjoy. And it’s important to them to keep it affordable and make sure whatever structure ends up there looks like it fits in the neighborhood. Not all change and progress is bad. What is bad and downright awful is the judgment. She’s a native Mainer trying to invest in her own community and yet you STILL find fault with it.

  • Eyes Wide Open

    Mainers investing in Maine. Of course you have a problem with that. I saw The Griffin Club the day they closed. It was disgusting. I have photos. Rotted floors, exposed wires, a god awful stench, unsanitary bathrooms. I’m surprised it passed any health inspections in the last few years. If you hate progress then move. People like you are the reason the neighborhood is dying. You’d rather keep a disgusting, run down bar that smelled like cat pee, then get a new place that wants to help the neighborhood succeed. You know nothing about these women or their vision, but you’re already wishing them ill will. What kind of people are you?

    BTW, the new owners didn’t kick them out, the old owner did. Also, they let it get so run down that the building may not even be structurally sound. But keep on complaining about it being gone.