New owners confirm that Portland’s 40-year-old downtown grocery store is closing

A city renowned for its food will, for the first time in 150 years, not have a traditional grocery store in the heart of its downtown.

Paul’s Food Center, a Congress Street mainstay, plans to close its doors in a few weeks after the building in which it’s been housed since 1975 was sold to a pair of firms with ties to a popular indoor flea market.

A new owner of the historic building said the restaurant Vinland and Yes Books, which share the building, will remain, as will current tenants of the apartments on the upper floors.

Hammond Heirs, LLC and Paul’s Boutique, LLC — partnering firms managed in part by Erin Kiley, owner of Portland Flea-For-All — closed on the 585-593 Congress St. property Thursday. The sale price was not disclosed, but the property’s assessed value is more than $1.3 million.

Shoppers on Friday said that loss of a grocery

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