Downtown Orono

Things to Do
  • Ride the shuttle: Take the Black Bear-Orono Express from the University to Downtown and back - easier than campus parking.
  • Check out the region's best cluster of restaurants: Bear Brew Pub, Family Dog, Harvest Moon Deli, Margarita's, Pat's Pizza, Thai Orchid, Verve, The Roost Pub and Wingery, Woodman's Grill
  • Partake of coffee, sandwiches, baked good, groceries: Butterfingers Bakery, Circle K, Subway, The Store-Ampersand.
  • Don't forget the veggies: Orono Farmer's Market - "winter" market in Downtown; "summer" market at University Steam Plant parking lot
  • Browse for special items: Byer of Maine (camp furniture and hammocks), DeGrasse Jewelers, Drive Records, Front Porch Books, Rose's Bike and Ski Shop, Shaw and Tenney (wooden oars and paddles)
  • Stay overnight, within walking distance of the University: University Inn
  • Feel like a new you: Dick's Barber Shop, Erv's Barber Shop, Fringe Salon, Hair After
  • Fix the headache: Orono Pharmacy
  • Fix the car: Murray's Campus Service Center, Swett's Tire and Auto
  • Treat yourself to fine wines and hand-crafted beer: Black Bear Microbrew, Burby and Bates, The Store-Ampersand
  • Get one with nature: Walk the Stillwater River trail; kayak or canoe from hand-carry landings on the Stillwater River at the end of Summer Street, at University Inn, or at Brownie's Park along the Stillwater River trail
  • Listen to a summer concert: Every Tuesday evening during the summer at Webster Park
  • Learn and connect: Orono Public Library, Keith Anderson Community Center
  • Experience history: Walk the Orono Main Street Historic District with twenty-nine 19th Century and turn-of-the-century buildings covering all of the major styles of a hundred years
  • Take a dip at the Town's outdoor pool next to the Orono school campus
Downtown Plan
Orono's current Downtown Plan dates back to 1995 (PDF), with significant updates through 2011. The updates included a new market analysis (PDF) and a fresh look at facade improvements (PDF).

Investing In Downtown
Downtown Orono - with its mix of longstanding businesses and newcomers, college youth and senior citizens, riverfront and trails - is the dynamic core of Orono. It is a strong address for restaurants, businesses catering to a University market, and professional and RandD offices. More than a decade ago, the Town, in cooperation with Downtown merchants and residents, reaffirmed its commitment to a healthy Downtown. It has since:
  • Built a new, LEED-certified public library in Downtown
  • Established a Downtown Development District, which is jointly administered by the Town and the Orono Village Association
  • Initiated the Black Bear Orono Express, a shuttle bus between Downtown and the University of Maine campus - jointly developed by the University, Town, OVA, Maine DOT and BAT Connector
  • Established a fund for capital investments in Downtown and to help pay for the shuttle bus
  • In cooperation with OVA, engaged the University of Maine Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center to help market Downtown
  • Established a Downtown riverfront park on the banks of the Stillwater, as part of an evolving in-town trail system
To learn more about Downtown business opportunities, contact Belle Ryder, Assistant Town Manager.

Redevelopment Plan
Keep up to date with the plan to redevelop the former Katahdin Building site at the center of Downtown for University Credit Union's new headquarters.