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Cafe, wine bar in the works for Cape Elizabeth shopping center

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Cafe, wine bar in the works for Cape Elizabeth shopping center

CAPE ELIZABETH — A trio of local professionals want to open a cafe that will offer residents a bagel before work, a place for stay-at-home parents to gather with their children and a wine bar to relax after a long day.

James Wagner, Dr. Samir Haydar and David Leopold met with the Planning Board Tuesday night to discuss the completion of their site plan. While the Board voted 4-0 that the plans are complete, there will be a site walk, further discussion and public hearings in the coming months.

The so-far-unnamed cafe would be located in the Pond Cove Shopping Center next to CVS at 327 Ocean House Road. The owners hope to open a 60-seat restaurant in the 2,300 square-foot space.

Haydar, who practices emergency medicine at Maine Medical Center in Portland, said he and his friends believe the town needs a place for people to get coffee and a bagel, a glass of wine or to meet other parents.

"Our real concept was having a place that caters to the stay-at-home parents," he said. "We each have three children, and know the importance of having a place to meet, to talk and to unwind."

He said they have given some thought to incorporating a story and play area for children that will draw the parents to the cafe. There will be no kitchen area, but at night, Haydar said there could be tapas, cheese and simple foods for adults.

"We are not looking to compete with (Ocean House Pizza)," he said. "We are looking to bring happiness to the plaza."

Wagner, an attorney, said he is tired of driving to the Old Port for a good cup of coffee, or to have a beer past 9 p.m. He said by the time children are in bed, there is nowhere in town to gather.

"We may apply for an entertainment application eventually for live music, but that is in the future," he said.

He said as of now, the partners are considering opening their cafe seven days a week at 6:30 a.m., and staying open until about 10:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays. They are looking for a manager, and pending approval from the Planning Board and Town Council, hope to open as soon as next March.

Leopold, the third partner, is the regional vice president of marketing and sales at Time Warner Cable. He did not attend the Planning Board meeting.

The board will hold a site walk Friday, Nov. 20, at 1 p.m. at the restaurant property. The public is invited to attend.

A public hearing on the cafe site plan will be held Dec. 15 at 7 p.m.

In addition, the board approved a one-year extension for a privately funded arboretum proposed for Fort Williams Park on Shore Road and approved an amendment to add a parking lot at the Purpoodock Club at 300 Spurwink Ave.

Amy Anderson can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or aanderson@theforecaster.net