Celebration follows sale of South Portland's Griffin Club to Cape Elizabeth women

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SOUTH PORTLAND — There was a party at the former Griffin Club Monday afternoon to celebrate its sale to Cape Elizabeth residents Ginger Cote and Penny Prior.

The future of the 60 Ocean St. property is still uncertain, although the new owners said they hope to renovate the building and offer food and music.

Cote and Prior, who are the principals of P&G Developers, did not disclose what they paid. The building was listed for sale for $599,000 in February by Byron and Audry Castro of Cape Elizabeth.

Prior and Cote hosted the small party after closing on the acquisition of the 58,000-square-foot building earlier in the day June 5.

In an interview on the sidewalk, Prior said she and Cote hope to restore the structure, but don’t know what is feasible since the building is 117 years old.

“Food and music are near and dear to both of our hearts.” Prior said. “We are going to see what works in this space.”

Prior said she loves the walkability of Knightville, and they hope to create a relaxed space where people can feel comfortable dropping in for a quick bite or a drink.

“We really love Knightville,” Prior said. “We are excited to be a part of this community and contribute to this community.”

She said Cote grew up in Aroostook County and began playing the drums at age 6 and was a full-time musician by 18. She lived and played in Portland and toured in Nashville during her music career. A press release said Cote spent several years touring the U.S. and overseas with performers that included Bonnie Raitt, Lucinda Williams and Emmylou Harris, as well as Portland’s Cyd Bullens and Darien Brahms.

Prior said Cote has also had experience in the food-service industry.

Prior was raised in the Washington, D.C., area. After building websites for major media brands she transitioned into teaching as an elementary and technology specialist teacher in New York City for 10 years before moving to Maine.

The Griffin Club was founded about five decades ago by Eddie Griffin, who was Byron Castro’s stepfather. Griffin was a promoter of professional and amateur sports.

Scott Parker, who owned the business but not the building, was evicted prior to the sale of the building by the Castros. He closed the bar Wednesday, May 31, and has said he hopes to reopen it nearby and rename it Griffin’s Dugout.

Melanie Sochan can be reached at 781-3661 ext.106 or msochan@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter@melaniesochan.

The Griffin Club at 60 Ocean St. in South Portland has been purchased by a company owned by Cape Elizabeth residents Ginger Cote and Penny Prior.