Portland Questions More Food Chains in Maine

Two Virginia-based burger chains are interested in opening locations in Downtown Portland, but are facing opposition from city residents and officials.

Having more fast-food stores open in the Downtown area may be a mixed bag, having both benefits and downfalls. Stacy Mitchell, a Portland-based researcher, believes the city of Portland derives its strength from the independent businesses it has, and that opening larger chain-stores could jeopardize Portland's unique character. Tim Soley, the building manager of the proposed location for the burger chain, believes that the Downtown area will see more foot traffic as a result of the additions, which will boost other businesses in the area as well.

"'If Portland ends up with a mix of chains downtown like what you find at the mall, why would you go to the trouble of coming downtown?' [Mitchell] said."

Full Story: Food-service transitions: Chain restaurants on the way in

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