“MIKE’S” Congress Street Eatery Under Contract to Co-op


MIke G. Fink, Owner of MIKE’s and Guitar Grave.

By Carol McCracken  (Post # 1,432)

Mike G. Fink, owner of MIKE’s, said today that his restaurant is under contract to sell to two young men who want to start up a co-op at the popular 437 Congress Street address.  The popular eatery  has been for sale for almost a year now.  Fink said he deposited a check in the bank this morning which places the business under contract.

Problems began last year when protestors against abortion rights provided by the closeby Planned Parenthood overlapped onto the sidewalk in front of the eatery as well as his other business – Guitar Grave at 441 Congress Street.  The complaints about difficult access to his business come in every day, Fink said this afternoon. He said his lease is up the end of August and he has notified his landlord that he will not be renewing it.  Regardless of the current outcome, he says he will close his business in August and not open anywhere else.

Last December, Fink met with city manager Mark H Rees, the city attorney, Mayor Michael Brennan, and State Senator Justin Alfond. (Alfond owns a nearby building.)  At the meeting, Fink asked the city to impose a 35 ft. buffer zone between the anti-abortion protestors and his eatery.  Fink said he recently learned from Planned Parenthood that the city was not  going to impose such a buffer because in Finks words, the city is afraid of a lawsuit from the protestors.  Fink said there are laws in Massachusets and in Burington, Vermont that permit a 35 ft. buffer from any medical faciity that offers reproductive services.  Maine has no such law and is not likely to have one in the immediate future.

Originally from Detroit, MI., Fink said he was visiting in Portland in the early 70s  and fell in love with the place. He decided to move here.  He began with a real estate company – The Whale & Tail Company.

“I want to do something constructive and positive and not find myself thinking of appropriate things I should say to these protestors,” said Fink this afternoon.  “I was wasting too much energy doing that.”   To that end, he is changing business hours for Guitar Grave – it will now be closed on Friday mornings.

The new co-op owners are hosting a meeting at MIKE’s this Saturday for anyone interested in its future.  Alex Briggs, one of the parties interested, has set a meeting for Saturday, 11:00 am at MIKE’s.