Gene Beck, who sold Nocturnem Draft Haus on Tuesday, in a May 2014 file photo at the downtown Bangor bar. Credit: Nok-Noi Ricker / BDN

Twelve years after he opened downtown Bangor’s first craft beer bar, the former owner of Nocturnem Draft Haus has sold the business to a local couple.

Gene Beck, who opened Nocturnem on Main Street in 2011, sold the business Tuesday to Darren and Sybil Currier, Bangor residents and longtime patrons of the bar, who have been working with Beck over the past few months to make the transition.

Beck said he wasn’t selling for any reason other than he was ready to try something new in his life.

“You always have to think about an exit strategy when you run a small business,” Beck said. “I’ve worked in restaurants for 40 years, and I’m ready for something new. I want to exit my business while I still enjoy it. I don’t want to be going through the motions or clinging to it, like Tom Brady.”

Beck said he’s known Darren Currier for more than 20 years, from when he was building the craft beer selection at Swett’s Tire and Auto on Stillwater Avenue and Currier worked for alcohol distributors Central Distributors.

Since opening, Nocturnem has offered an array of local, craft and imported beers from all around the state, country and world on draft and in bottles, as well as cocktails, and a menu featuring burgers, wraps, house-made pretzels and much-loved chicken wings.

It has also regularly hosted live music, art shows and community events.

“[Darren] and Sybil love craft beer, and they love the business, and they want to continue the mission,” Beck said. “It’s really the right match and the right time.”

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