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Floating Café Approved for Raymond Beach on Sebago

April 18, 2011 - Raymond- After being closed last summer due to trash and high bacteria counts in the water, Raymond Beach will be reopened to the public under a deal struck between the town and the proprietor of a floating café to be located at the beach.


The proposal, which was approved Tuesday afternoon, was put on the fast track at last week's selectmen's meeting after the proprietor, Jeff Pomeroy of Raymond, indicated he wanted to be in business by Memorial Day. The board called a meeting for Tuesday and after about a half-hour approved a five-year lease with one-year renewals on conditions that Pomeroy maintain a clean environment at the beach.


The dining establishment, to be named the Black Ghost Café, will serve hot dogs, hamburgers, shrimp and crab rolls, steamed lobsters, fried foods and pre-packaged ice cream.


"It's going to be simple food," Pomeroy said.


The café will operate Wednesdays through Sundays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. On Mondays and Tuesdays, Pomeroy has agreed to monitor the beach area from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., allowing beachgoers daily access at no charge.


"It's a give-and-take," Pomeroy said. "The town is letting me use the beach, so I'm keeping the beach clean and free in exchange. I think it's going to work good."


The arrangement is considered a "win-win" by Selectman Mike Reynolds, who added, "It's a great opportunity because the town gets to reopen the beach and at the same time help a Raymond resident to have a successful business there."


Pomeroy, a 15-year-Egypt Road resident who grew up in Windham and now runs Dovetail Woodworks, said he has already constructed a 116-foot-long dock that will lead to the floating café to be built on a pontoon boat. Diners can either walk to the boat or pull their boats alongside the restaurant for service. The dockside service will be unique for Sebago Lake.


"There's not much like this around," Reynolds said. "It will be a destination. And other than the boat ramp, I don't really think many people know the beach is there, but this will definitely bring attention to it."


Pomeroy can't wait to begin. He will spend the next few weeks constructing the pontoon and look to hire an employee to join him and his daughter, Grace, in running the operation.


"Everyone is excited about this, 100 percent," he said.


John Balentine, Lake Region Weekly, April 2011


Lakes: Sebago Lake
Regions: Sebago


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