The Candor Cafe will serve club sandwiches, Caesar salads and breakfast sandwiches, as well as banh mi and chicken shawarma flatbread.
The Candor Cafe has opened in the Bangor Mall. Credit: Courtesy of the Candor Cafe

A new lunch counter in the Bangor Mall aims to serve not just customers shopping, but also employees at the remaining businesses there.

The Candor Cafe, located in the center court of the mall, opened earlier this month, offering an array of sandwiches, flatbreads, salads and breakfast items during normal business hours. The location housed a Starbucks coffee kiosk in the early 2010s.

Owner Bethany Gregory said that opening a cafe in the mall wasn’t something she was planning on, but was rather an opportunity she chose to jump at.

“I’m not even banking on mall traffic. Mostly I did this for mall employees,” Gregory said. “And it’s food that’s taking me back to my roots. Honest and simple food.”

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The Candor Cafe — named for the upstate New York town Gregory grew up in — will serve familiar classics like club sandwiches, Caesar salads and breakfast sandwiches. It’ll also serve some of the fusion items Gregory enjoys, like a chicken shawarma flatbread and a banh mi, the Vietnamese sandwich.

Gregory moved to Maine earlier this year with plans to open a local foods cafe and market called the Maine Market at 2354 Broadway, the former location of the Six Miles Fall Store, a long-empty gas station near the Glenburn-Bangor line. Though she has undertaken a number of renovations on the property, work continues and Gregory said she hasn’t yet set an opening date.

In the meantime, Gregory opened a food truck called The Scotch Bonnet, from which she served Jamaican and Caribbean items like jerk chicken, oxtail and festival dumplings in both the parking lot of her unopened store, and at events statewide. Gregory made headlines when over the summer her custom meat smoker was stolen over Fourth of July weekend. The smoker was later recovered 45 miles away in the woods in Brownville in early August.

With food truck season in Maine nearly over, however, she turned her attention to finding a new source of revenue for the winter months while work on the market continues.

“I was at the mall with my food truck for a craft fair and learned there was no food here for mall employees,” Gregory said. “So I inquired, moved my equipment in, and opened it within three weeks. It all happened really quickly.”

Though G-Force Entertainment, the gaming center and nightclub in the mall, offers up a small menu of pub food, there was for several years no place to get breakfast or lunch items in the mall. The last standalone eatery in the mall to close was Bangor Pizza and Subs, which closed in 2019.

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Emily Burnham

Emily Burnham is a Maine native and proud Bangorian, covering business, the arts, restaurants and the culture and history of the Bangor region.