Pandemic casualty: Joseph’s Fireside Restaurant closes its doors

Joseph’s Fireside Steakhouse (photo:

The COVID-19 pandemic did what owners Kevin Joseph (no relation to Kevin Joseph of Guacamole’s and You Know Whose Pub) and E. J. Fabian feared the most: closing their beloved restaurant on other than their own terms.

Effective immediately, Joseph’s Fireside Restaurant, located on West River Road, in Waterville, will not reopen for business and remains up for sale.

Opened in June 2011, the original thinking on the parts of both owners was a five-year plan of operation that would allow them to cross items off their respective bucket lists. At the seven-year mark, the decision was made to place the restaurant up for sale – planning to sell to a community-focused buyer. Now, at nine years, the difficult determination has been made to close permanently, due to the restrictions in place forced by the pandemic. Operating at the mandated limited capacity is not sustainable.

In a letter to many friends, customers, area business owners and especially their employees, Kevin and E.J. included a personal note of thanks: “We would like to thank each and every one of you for making this dream of ours a success for many years. We have been so fortunate to have opened our restaurant in such a caring community. This is not the exit plan we had in mind at all, and we wish we could pass this on to new ownership, but at this time it is not an option. We will truly miss you all.”

The owners wish to let gift card holders with balances know that these will be honored. To assure that the money remain in the area, gift cards will be redeemed through the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce, 50 Elm Street, Waterville. Fireside gift cards will be replaced with a Chamber gift certificate of equivalent value, redeemable at a Chamber member restaurant from a provided list. Gift card holders will also receive extra value of 10 percent above and beyond the value of the gift certificate issued, from the participating restaurants, at the time of a visit. The 10 percent bonus value cannot be combined with any other discounts or promotions the restaurant may be offering. The 10 percent bonus will be honored by the participating restaurants only until August 31, 2020.

Fireside gift cards must be surrendered at the time of exchange at the Chamber office. Please contact the Chamber at 873-3315, or for information.


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