One of my best friends is Norm Elvin and, in the recent past, he's struggled with his love of the restaurant that he founded and his diminishing time to do the things he knew he should be doing. In the end, love of his family and desire for some much needed rest won out...

Norm is a great multi-tasker. He has been able to be at just about every one of his teenage boys' events (they were involved in sports all thorough high school, like their dad was), run a multi-million dollar roofing company, two restaurants (one of which he's not will be a seasonal restaurant called "Norm's" on Route 3), and is on several boards of directors. He's able to do so much thanks to great and trustworthy people who run his businesses in his absence.

Here's a little trivia you may or may not know. China Lake Hardware occupied the China Dine-ah building until 2006. Norm bought the building in 2007 and, after reading a book, "How to Run a Restaurant for Dummies," built and opened the China Dine-ah. That's it in a nutshell. Pretty impressive. Since it's opening, the Dine-ah has become a destination for people far and wide!

On a more personal note, Norm and I have worked together over the past 6 years on advertising campaigns that have included many opportunities to come into the restaurant and record comments from lots of satisfied customers. Between that and doing trivia night on Wednesdays, which is now in its third year, I have made many lifelong friends with people in and out of our little China community. This is truly a "Cheers" type atmosphere for me. I feel like family...Norm, like a brother, the patrons like cousins and the staff...well, it's hard to put a 'family' type moniker on them as a group...but as individuals I have come to love them...really LOVE them, all.

The good news is, the buyer of the Dine-ah is Lisa Wardwell who currently runs the very popular and successful Lisa's Restaurant and Catering on Bangor Street in Augusta. China Dine-ah will keep its name and Lisa, another good friend, will continue with the Dine-ah's successes and add what are sure to be some very positive changes as she puts her own touch on things!

Norm and Lisa are also good friends with each other, which makes the transition even easier. I can't wait to see what lies in store for the future of the China Dine-ah! The best news of all is, it's not going anywhere!! :-)

Lisa and I at celebrity waiter dinner for Cony High Sports Boosters (2013)