Culture Shock reports that Empire has changed hands and is going to be split into 2 different venues.
The word on the street is that the downstairs area will be reopened in early summer as a Chinese restaurant – which the Empire building originally was, back in the day – and the upstairs is tentatively planned to reopen this summer as well, still as a music venue.
The Press Herald published an article late Friday with additional information,
The five-year-old restaurant and music venue has been sold by Umbel and will be run by Theresa Chan, a Maine restaurateur, and Todd Bernard, a veteran of Portland’s arts scene. Bernard is a former owner of the Space Gallery music and arts venue, at 538 Congress St.
Umbel said the new operators will close Empire Dine and Dance temporarily so that the downstairs, which now is a bar and restaurant with space for small music groups, can be renovated into a Chinese restaurant.