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Bonanza Steakhouse in Sanford to close permanently at end of June, citing struggles due to COVID-19 pandemic

The restaurant first opened in 1984 and has been under its current ownership since 1985.
Credit: Bonanza Steakhouse

SANFORD, Maine — The owner and manager of Bonanza Steakhouse, a family dining establishment that has been in Sanford for more than 35 years, announced Monday they will close on June 30.

In a Facebook post made around 10 a.m., they noted that sales have remained at 15 percent of normal for the past eight weeks, adding that there's no indication of when customers will be allowed to fill their seats again.

Governor Janet Mills' administration announced Monday afternoon that indoor dining in Androscoggin, Cumberland, and York counties can voluntarily resume on Wednesday, June 17 with added health and safety protocols outlined in the COVID-19 Prevention Checklist.  

As of 4 p.m. on Monday, Bonanza Steakhouse has not indicated a change of heart due to the governor's accelerated reopening of indoor dining in York County. 

RELATED: Restaurants in remaining three counties can reopen for dine-in service starting Wednesday

Here's what the owner and manager wrote in the Facebook post Monday morning"

Back in March we were all shocked to learn of the Corona virus. Little did we know how it would affect all of us.
Despite all of our best efforts, our sales have remained at 15% of normal for the past 8 weeks. Obviously we cannot continue running this business without customers filling the seats. There is no indication when that will be allowed, or if a salad bar will ever be part of any restaurant’s future.
So, after 35 plus years, manager Kerry Wears and I have made the decision to close on June 30th.
we welcome you to come in during the next 2 weeks for a last serving of your favorite Bonanza meal, such as Sirloin Tips, Chicken Monterey, or Baked Haddock. Thank you.
Geoff and Kerry

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On Bonanza's website, the restaurant is described as offering friendly service and tasty food at an affordable price. Here's what it says about the restaurant's background:

Sanford Bonanza first opened its doors in February, 1984.  Current General Manager, Kerry Wears, started working here on opening day.  She celebrates over 30 years with the Bonanza family.  Geoff Titherington purchased the restaurant October 1, 1985.  A long time Sanford resident, he previously owned a picture framing business and prior to that, ran Shaw’s Ridge Farm Dairy for 8 years.  Although he loved the picture framing business, two kids starting college motivated Geoff to make the change. 

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