Back in another lifetime, I've owned two restaurants. One was just an experiment in getting my feet wet after years in the industry, and the other was a much bigger place that was part of the Mr. Bagel franchise in southern Maine. Both situations were hard work, and a lot of sweat, but I did what I had to do.

The Mr. Bagel franchise made it really easy to get into a place with a lot of brand recognition right out of the gate, which gave me a leg up on establishing myself. But starting a place just on my own merits would have been substantially more difficult. And I imagine some business owners around town probably felt the pangs of going up against a big brand.

According to the Bangor Daily News, Camden is about to do something about that. They're considering a zoning change, that would prohibit certain types of "chain" restaurants from certain areas of town, in an effort to make the local businesses more prominent. This move would limit such businesses to just a small area south of town on Route 1.

There are many steps to go through, but interestingly, many residents already thought such a ban existed. They were likely confused by the town's ban on drive-thru windows.

There is some talk that an amendment like this would need to be carefully worded, and not affect local "chain" restaurants. In this case, the Sea Dog. They have locations throughout northern New England, but would hardly be considered a threatening franchise.

No matter how you look at it, some folks will love it, some will hate it. But that's just the world these days. Whatever conclusion is reached, isn't likely to go into effect until at least summer time. Until then, we'll just have to wait and see. And buy our McD's french fries somewhere else.

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