Ralph and Frances Reed stand outside their previous space at 360 Main St. in Southwest Harbor where their business, the Quietside Café, began almost three decades ago. ISLANDER FILE PHOTO

Quietside Cafe is closing

SOUTHWEST HARBOR — Quietside Cafe & Ice Cream Shop, a staple of the community for nearly three decades, is set to close at the end of the season and is up for sale with an asking price of $200,000. 

The business has been quietly advertised for the last month in the hopes of a private sale between the seller and the purchaser, however, the restaurant’s current location at the Southwest Shoppes Plaza Shopping Center is not for sale. 

Since it opened in 1996, Quietside Cafe & Ice Cream Shop has been popular with residents and tourists alike. The business has also been a local hub, providing free Thanksgiving meals for the community. 

Known for its homemade wild blueberry pie, the eatery on Seal Cove Road in Southwest Harbor has been owned and operated by Ralph and Frances Reed for 27 years. The business started as an ice cream parlor at 360 Main St., where it gained traction. Over time, the business evolved into more than an ice cream shop to a cafe where people could also grab baked goods and fried food. After making its move to Seal Cove Road two years ago, the restaurant added breakfast fare. 

In 2020, the Reeds thought they would wait an additional three to five years before selling the business and retiring, but those plans have changed.  

“We’ve been in business for years and I’ve had some health issues,” said Ralph, who added he has suffered three strokes in as many years. Their children, Marlena and Ebony, who grew up with the business, have moved on to their own careers. “There’s a time for everything and it’s time to move on,” Ralph said.  

The buyer of the business would have the ability to conduct operations from the location.  

“We have mostly stayed open for the community, and if it doesn’t sell, we might do something next year, but I doubt it,” said Ralph, who added that he has plans to close for good at the end of September.  

Ninah Rein

Ninah Rein

Writer at Mount Desert Islander
Ninah Rein, an MDI native, covers news and features in the Bar Harbor area. She is glad to be back in Maine after earning a bachelor's degree in San Diego from the University of California.
Ninah Rein

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