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By Joshua Maloni
The new owners of Apple Granny Restaurant have grand plans to change ... well, nothing.
Lewiston residents Chuck Barber and Michael J. Burke recently acquired the Center Street eatery from John Roberts and his family.
"We're keeping the same great menu; the same great hours," Barber said. "If anything, we hope that Mike and I, our energy and our age, and the stage of life we're in with our families, we hope to add to and enhance some things, but we're keeping all the great things that are here.
"So, if we can freshen up things, add a little bit of a take on new things, we'd like to add those slowly. But it's important for us to be able to share to the community that we're keeping the same great traditions, the same great people - the cooks, the food - it's all staying the same."
"We'd be foolish to change it," Burke added.
The two men said they grew up fans of the restaurant.
"I have many memories coming from way back in my days of working at Rivershore. At midnight, they used to be open here for a late-night menu. We'd come here for snacks," Barber said. "Many of the restaurants up and down the street have changed names many times, and you could almost do a game trying to figure it out. But this has always been Apple Granny's. There was always something special to me about Apple Granny's."
"I can remember, when I worked at Coppins as a teenager, this was the go-to place to get takeout," Burke said. "We were working Saturday afternoons cleaning floors over at the shop, and this was the place to go for chicken wings or a sandwich, and I think that continues to this day."
"We wanted to be in here because of the great food and service and traditions that are here," Barber said. "We are keeping all of that. We're very lucky and blessed that all of the staff stayed. Every single employee has stayed on board with us - from the cooks to the servers to the bartenders, everybody stayed on board to be part of it."
Chuck Barber, left, and Michael J. Burke are the proud new owners of Apple Granny Restaurant in Lewiston.
Barber's background is human services. Burke is a fireman. Neither one was born or raised in Lewiston, but both chose to make the village home and raise families here.
"Mike and I ... are younger guys in this community," Barber said. "We love Lewiston. We each have young families here and we're very active in the community. We're part of all the youth sports leagues - as many community groups as possible. We're part of the Lewiston Kiwanis. And we realize that Apple Granny's is right in the heart of it.
"And I think ... our main motivation was to really be part of this community, and this was a great opportunity for us to join that. We're able to connect with our own friends and family here, and the great customers that come in, and just be part of a great experience.
we both always enjoyed all that Center Street has to
offer, much less Apple Granny's. So, to be part of it was an exciting opportunity."
Barber said he and Burke hope to continue what the Roberts began when they turned the former general store (circa 1830) into Apple Granny in 1975.
"There's many people who said, 'My mom and dad got married here,' 'I remember coming here as a kid,' and now they're bringing their kids here," he said. "So we hope to continue that tradition and let them know the same great things are happening."
"We picked Apple Granny's because of all it has to offer," Barber added.
"We want to be part of that and continue it," he said.
The new owners may add some items to the menu, or offer some gluten-free options, but, "I think the quality of the food speaks for itself," Burke said.
The restaurant is known for its large assortment of beef and seafood dishes, and its ample sandwich selections.
"Most people get the message that the food is as good as it's ever been. And if there may be some additions to the menu, I think they'll really enjoy it," Burke said.