Cooper’s Restaurant & Wine Room announced Friday that it had shut its doors for good in Sanford, leaving a hole in space that had been occupied over the years by a series of some of the city’s finest restaurants.

Owner Brandon Atkins told The Rant that the restaurant had struggled under pandemic response regulations which allow restaurants to operate at only half capacity for dine in service.

Cooper’s opened in March of 2019, several months after the Steele Pig – which had then recently been purchased by Atkins – closed its doors, at first for renovations, and eventually for a transformation into a new restaurant.

Opened for less than two years, Cooper’s quickly developed a reputation for high end food and community support.

The loss of a downtown restaurant anywhere is a blow, and The Rant hopes something else can occupy the space moving forward.