WATERVILLE — Zach Bran joins a growing number of entrepreneurs working to further revitalize downtown as he plans to open a beer, wine, specialty food and gift shop on Main Street.

Main Street Provisions, which will open in mid-October in the former L. Tardif Jeweler location at 62 Main St., will have an artisan theme and focus on Maine and New England products including cheeses, meats, crackers, chips and gifts such as glassware. Cutting boards and utensils.

Bran, 32, from Sydney, began renovating the space in April, sparking the curiosity of passers-by.

“We try to have kind of an open-door policy as we work and renovate,” Brann said last week. “We get a lot of people asking us what’s going on. There’s a lot of fun around it, and a lot of interaction and communication around social media.

Bran said he wants people to know he will carry products from local artisans and artisans, which will not only support the store but also small producers.

“We really want to take pride in that, we want to take pride in the customer experience and recommendations, customer service, outside of the big chain grocery store,” he said.

The store, accessible from Main Street and Concourse, has new flooring, lighting, paint, signage, fixtures, plumbing and electrical features.

Bran grew up in Oakland, graduated from Messalonskee High School in 2009 and from the University of Maine, Orono, in 2014, with a degree in English and Communications. He said he worked in marketing, public relations and branding in the Portland area and fell in love with the craft breweries, local makers, craft culture and industry there. When he returned to central Maine, he said, it was in the back of his mind as something he also wanted to do.

Zak Bran is opening Main Street Provisions, shown at right, at 62 Main St. In downtown Waterville. The business is a beer, wine and specialty foods store. It occupies the space that was formerly home to L. Tardif Jewellery. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

The revitalization of downtown Waterville provided the stage for that, and Bran jumped in and found a space with a lot of history attached to it. Closed several months ago after 87 years, the Tardif is located directly across Main Street from the new Paul J. Schopf Arts Center and other cultural facilities, according to Bran.

“We’re really excited about our location, and we’re really excited to be part of the economic revitalization in Waterville,” he said.

To start, the store will include Brann as a full-time manager, an assistant manager and a handful of part-time employees, and will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, though those times may change, according to Brann. The Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce is scheduled to hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony on October 25.

But Main Street Provisions isn’t the only new business launching in the city recently.

Other exhibits include Town Fair Tire, which is scheduled to open Oct. 15 in Elm Plaza off Main Street in the space vacated by Olympia Sports. Also in Elm Plaza, a 5 Below store is scheduled to open next to Back in Motion Physical Therapy next door to Hobby Lobby. 5 Below carries novelty items, candy, toys and games, and also has stores in Augusta and South Portland.

An AT&T retail store is scheduled to open in the former Little Caesar’s pizza shop on Main Street. Coastal Med Tech has moved to 177 College Ave. in the former Maroon Flooring building space on Sept. 1. It was originally in Waterville but moved to Auckland and expanded there. The College Avenue property, owned by Bill Mitchell, has undergone an extensive renovation.

Mitchell also owns 220 Main St., which was previously leased to Jorgensen’s Cafe, a business that closed earlier this year. The building is being renovated with new paint and the roof replaced in anticipation of it being leased to a single entity or divided into two or more office or retail spaces, Mitchell said. Mitchell in December 2021 sold the GHM dealership at 51 Main St. downtown to Allen Insurance and Financial, an employee-owned entity.

Gervais & Associates, a new CPA firm, opened earlier this year on the second floor of 18 Common St., a building also owned by Mitchell. Andy’s Driving Academy opened less than a year ago on that floor. Diane’s Travel recently moved from 197 Main Street to 45 Main Street next to GHM.

The IV Hydralounge opened Sept. 1 at 350 Kennedy Memorial Drive and offers services including hydration, IVs for immunity, migraines, nausea, pain and the like, and does vitamin infusions.

Royal Hong Kong Barbecue plans to open at 40 Elm St. in the former Babe’s Shoe Repair store next to Domino’s Pizza, though owner Bob Tang did not return a call for an estimated date.

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