The name Central Provisions pays homage to the original name of Dana Street and the first use of the building. Daniel Fox, who worked for the East India Trading Company, constructed a building to be used as a storehouse for provisions. This federal style brick building was erected on the corner of Fore and Central Street (now Dana Street) directly on the Wharf. The East India Trading Company’s ships would sail directly up to the building and unload their goods such as cotton, silk, indigo dye, salt, saltpeter, tea, and opium. In 1874, the East India Trade Company was dissolved. Through out history, 414 Fore Street has served many different purposes. A wine and bitters shop named Rufus and Son’s moved into the building in 1894. They moved across the street and a barrel top and burlap bags shop moved in. After that, it was home to E. Cory who sold local blacksmiths and wood workers tools and materials. The Great Fire of 1866 burned one third of the whole downtown area but our little brick building stood strong even though the fire brushed by across the street. We are happy to breathe new life into this beautiful old building and see it through the next chapter of its story.
In an attempt to honor the history of our beautiful building, we have used many local craftsmen. We found two crafty brothers in Hope, ME. One is a blacksmith named Ben Leavitt who made all of our stools and chairs. They were then hand upholstered (by Paige) with recycled burlap bags from our coffee distributor (until she couldn’t keep up with reupholstering them… they are wooden now) and the backs are reclaimed red wine barrel staves. The other brother, Joshua Leavitt, is a woodworker who hand carver our sign on Fore Street and made all of the seats for the stools and chairs. All of our finished carpentry was masterfully completed by Kevin Gorham; this includes everything from the banquet to the barn door style bathroom doors and much more. Woodfin Brewer, the owner of Good Wood Tables located in North Yarmouth, made all of our table and bar tops from reclaimed heart pine. Please feel free to ask us for contact information on any of our craftsmen! This just begins to scratch the surface of some of the wonderfully talented local people who helped our restaurant take shape. The same care that has been taken with the building of our restaurant is taken in the sourcing our food. Supporting our local farms and businesses is our way of strengthening our community. We hope you enjoy eating and drinking in our little piece of history.
—Chris & Paige Gould