PHOTO COURTESY MARGARITAS

Margaritas to open in Ellsworth



ELLSWORTH — Margaritas, a chain of Mexican restaurants originating in New Hampshire with 26 locations from Pennsylvania to Maine, will open a franchise location in the former home of The Mex restaurant on Main Street in Ellsworth this summer.

“We’re really excited to bring our delicious Mexican food, authentic décor and hand-shaken Margaritas to the Ellsworth community,” said Michele Lloyd, director of marketing for the company, in a press release.

“Our franchise owner and operator Dave Reesman is a fantastic partner and is excited to bring the Margaritas experience to the Ellsworth community.”

Reesman, who also owns a location in Orono, closed on the 2,700-square-foot building on Feb. 25 and plans to immediately begin renovations, which he expects will take roughly four months. When it’s finished, the space will offer a full dining room and a bar/lounge area.

“I knew immediately this spot would make a great Margaritas right here in the heart of a vibrant downtown Ellsworth,” said Reesman in a release.

“Renovations will include adding outdoor seating, updating and expanding the bar and lounge as well as some kitchen updates. Once completed we are really looking forward to celebrating this location with this city. That’s what we do at Margaritas — we celebrate every day.”

The Mex closed last year, not long after celebrating its 40th anniversary. It had struggled in recent years after owner Bruce Wardwell was injured in an accident several years ago. The Mex hired a new manager last January who revamped the menu, hired new staff and made changes intended on reviving the space, but it abruptly closed later in the year. The restaurant had been a fixture of Main Street since 1979, when Wardwell returned from a trip to Mexico determined to bring some of the area’s cultural touches back with him.

Kate Cough

Kate Cough

Kate covers the city of Ellsworth, including the Ellsworth School Department and the city police beat, as well as the towns of Amherst, Aurora, Eastbrook, Great Pond, Mariaville, Osborn, Otis and Waltham. She lives in Southwest Harbor and welcomes story tips and ideas. She can be reached at [email protected]