Bar Harbor restaurant receives $5,000 grant 

BAR HARBOR—Havana, a fine dining restaurant in Bar Harbor, is the recipient of a $5,000 grant from the Maine Restaurant Relief Fund. 

During a livecast from O’Maine Studios in Portland in September, owner Michael Boland was one of four restaurant owners randomly selected for a grant.  

He joins a half dozen restaurateurs across the state to receive this needed financial support since the fund launched this summer.  

Made possible by the HospitalityMaine Education Foundation, donations stream in during the recurrent live fundraisers, which include a cook-along. Corporate sponsorships from Hannaford, Bangor Savings Bank, Cross Insurance and Oakhurst have been a large source of the grants. 

“The grant we received will go directly towards helping retain staff, which is the most difficult aspect of a difficult business,” said Boland, who opened Havana 20 years ago. “More consistent staff means less training costs, less costly mistakes, and theoretically a slightly more profitable restaurant that can last another 20 years.”   

By December, Re-Up ME intends to dispense 100 grants, said Rory Strunk, CEO of O’Maine Studios. “The grants give the restaurant owners hope and a spirit to fight another day,” said Strunk. The chef-lead effort seeks to fill the financial gap allowing restaurateurs to make it to next summer.  

“Re-Up ME places a spotlight on the struggles facing all our independent restaurants across the state,” said Steve Hewinspresident and CEO of HospitalityMaine. “We hope to help as many restaurants as possible, of all sizes, survive through the winter and sustain themselves into the future.” 

There is still time to apply or donate at  

Faith DeAmbrose

Faith DeAmbrose

Managing Editor at Mount Desert Islander
Faith DeAmbrose

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