Victoria “Queenie” Thayer has taken up the challenge of turning the miniature castle in Deering Oaks Park, pictured in this February 2022 file photo, into a cafe. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

There’s a new cafe coming to a castle near you.

Victoria “Queenie” Thayer has taken up the challenge of making the 128-year-old miniature stone-and-slate fortress located in Deering Oaks Park into a truly unique community space, according to the Portland Press Herald. Portland started a search for serious vendors in February.

The 59-year-old Thayer, who was reportedly the only applicant to take over the space, said that she has always loved the space, according to the Portland newspaper.

The cafe will be called “Queenie’s Castle,” getting its name from Thayer’s nickname, and will serve sandwiches, lobster rolls, alcoholic beverages and other typical cafe fare, such as lattes and smoothies. The venue, nestled between a baseball field, a pond and a busy, one way street, is expected to open on June 24, the Press Herald reported.

The last tenant was the restaurant Tiqua, which vacated the building at the start of the pandemic, early in the 2020 summer season. Before that, the building had a long-string of food-service vendors, going back to its construction in 1894.

The castle offers meager space for interior dining, but has a large outdoor patio, and Thayer said she is willing to be creative with the space to make it work.

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Leela Stockley

Leela Stockley is an alumna of the University of Maine. She was raised in northern Maine, and loves her cat Wesley, her puppy Percy and staying active in the Maine outdoors.