Portland Area Shuts Down While Suspect Sought North of City


Tristen Walden, Distiller at Hardshore Brewing Company on Washington Avenue, on the East End of Portland Today.  The Three Bourbons in the Above Photo Were to Have Been Launched at a Celebration Party this Afternoon and Had to be Postponed – Probably Until Next Week.

The Empty Parking Lot at Maine Mall, Sputh Portland Today.

The Maine Mall in South Portland Was Entirely Shut Down Today.

Although Greater Portland area residents, just 36 miles south of Lewiston, were not asked to shelter in place because of the manhunt for suspected mass killer Robert Cord, 40, of Bowdoin, Portland was like a ghost city all day.  For whatever reason –  fear of the dangerous and heavily armed Card – many businesses were closed with signs on their doors attributing closures to the tragedies in Lewiston.

:”This is like the early days of COVID,” said Tristen Walden, one of three distillers at Hardshore Distilling Company, 53 Washington Avenue.  The six year old distilling company was closed today despite its plan to launch three new bourbons today.  “I’m really bummed that we could not have the launch today.   But under the circumstances and very understandably, we could not go forward out of respect for the victims and their famillies.  Maine is a tight community and that is why so many businesses are closed today,” Tristen said.

On a drive out to the Maine Mall in South Portland to pick up an item at the JC Penny pick-up center, this blogger was at times the only vehicle on the highway.  However, a bigger surprise came when all the massive parking lots were empty of any vehicles, except for the security vehicle, PSC.  And every store at the massive shopping center was closed.  Helicopters could be seen flying overhead from time to time – presumably searching the area for any signs of Robert Card.

Back on the east end of Portland, it was easy to find a parking space on Exchange Street.  But, it was more difficult to find an open store in the popular shopping district..  Up and down Washingto Avenue, if businesses were not closed because of the nearby tragedies, employees grimaced when they said that busiess was really poor all day.  “I don’t know why we are even open,” said one who did not want to be identified.  Perhaps people were sheltering in place on their own accord to protect themselves and out of respect for the victims in Lewiston.  STRATA, the culinary boutique, and North Optical, purveyor of fine glass frames, were closed for business today.   The senseless tragedy in Lewiston yesterday was the catalyst.

But there was some good news to be found on Washington Avenue today:  Hardshore Distilling has just received notification that its application for a new license to sell wine and beer in its greatly expanded bar has been approved by the state.  Probably starting next week Hardshore will have a full bar rather than only a tasting room for its award winning gin and bourbons.

Here’s to the safe and swift capture of Robert Card to let the legal process begin.