A new restaurant is in the works for Mars Hill, led a by a resident who’s looking to create a new gathering place and to help the downtown rebound.

While a timeframe for opening has not been set, renovation work is underway at 45 Main Street in Mars Hill, the former J.J Newberry Building, to create what will become the Timberwolves Restaurant.

The restaurant has been more than a year in the making by Mars Hill resident Michael Stiggle, a veteran of the food and beverage industry who wants to bring his passion and some new life to downtown Mars Hill.

“We really are hoping to be a place to go to meet and have a glass of wine after work in a comfortable atmosphere,” Stiggle said.

The restaurant will feature a lunch and dinner menu with “old-fashioned skillet cooking and a lot of old fashioned Maine recipes,” plus craft beer and wine, coffee and desserts, including cheesecake, one of Stiggle’s specialties that he also plans to sell online.

Stiggle said he’s aiming for the restaurant to serve both as a lunch and dinner-time gathering place. He’s planning to have lunch specials with at least 25 meals for $5 or less that could be a draw for employees at some of Mars Hill’s larger local businesses, like Bigrock Transportation and Pineland Farms Potato Co.

Stiggle said he’s starting the new venture in pursuit of “economic independence” for both himself and the town. He’s already invested some of his own money in the business, and lined up financing with Bangor Savings Bank and the Finance Authority of Maine.

“We’re losing residents and for the residents here, downtown doesn’t offer much,” Stiggle said.

“I think it’s important for people like me — I’m 40-something — to invest in downtown,” he added. “We have lost our downtown and it’s important to try to bring that back so we can keep the money that’s in Mars Hill here.”