Carol McCracken (Post # 2,465)
“We just want to move on. The past is the past,” said Shane Dobson, the owner of `189 Congress Street this morning at his property on Munjoy Hill. Shane was referring to the difficult relationship he had with his former tenant, Patricia Henley, d/b/a Mama’s Crow Bar until last month – some of which Henley was not shy about publicizing on the Internet.
Three years ago, Shane purchased the property for $337,000. It’s value has doubled since then. He said today he wanted the three units in the building – two of which are apartments on the upper floors of the building. It was agreed that Stan, his brother, would manage the bar on the first floor which is something he has wanted to do for a long time. Stan is an experienced landlord since he owns other rental property on the Hill he said. He owns the Bay Side Excavating & Construction as well.
The bar space is currently undergoing renovation – including a new pine floor. The actual bar won’t be that different from the previous one, but there will be an old-fashioned flavor to the Tavern. Photographs of the Hill from the past will adorn the walls. A new sign for the front has been ordered and is expected to arrive in several weeks. Earlier this week Stan Dobson and his attorney appeared at a city council meeting where they were awarded a Class A Lounge License. Plans are still incomplete and subject to change, but Stan said they expect to start serving lunch with the possibility of breakfast as well. Doing the cooking for the Tavern will be Llsa Napolitiano.
Shane, who owns the building emphasized repeatedly that the past is past and he is not out to demonize anyone. But he did acknowledge upon questioning that Henley was a difficult tenant to deal with. When equipment needed repairing, she would not tell Shane about it. “Henley made no effort to communicate with us when there were repairs to be made at the bar,” said Shane. “We learned about the needed repairs on the Internet where she tried to blame us for neglect,” he said.
Around 3:30 am of September 30th, Henley and others lit a bonfire in the back yard of the bar -6 ft. from the back of bar (see above photo showing a tape measurer that shows 6 ft. from fire to the back of bar) and close to other buildings and a woodpile. Henley’s lease expired the next day – October 1st. A frightened neighbor called both the Portland Police Department and Portland Fire Department to deal with the situation – a fact both departments have confirmed. The neighbor heard the Police Department repeatedly tell Henley to put the fire out – “now.” “I just don’t think she was a very professional bar owner,” said Shane. “At times she was difficult to deal with.”
The brothers grew up on the Hill and still live here. “The Hill has changed so much over recent years. We can’t wait to bring back some of the old Hill to this spot,” said Shane. “It won’t be long. It won’t be long,” he said grinning.