The name Lisa Wardwell is one that most Central Mainer's are familiar with. Behind her bubbly personality and enchanting smile is a woman who really knows her stuff in the restaurant industry.

Owner of Lisa's Restaurant and White Flower Catering in Augusta and the China Dine-ah in South China, Lisa recently made the extremely difficult decision to close the South China eatery.

If you know her at all, you know this decision was not made lightly. It was a decision that had to be made because of the significant financial loss of having to keep the doors closed for so long. Even take out wasn't a viable option for the restaurant that relies heavily on spring and summer tourism because, quite frankly, there was no tourism.

Lisa has made it very clear, as have several other Central Maine business owners, that she doesn't agree with the way Governor Janet Mills has handled the crisis here in Maine. Wardwell, like many others, wishes Mills had taken opinions and input for business owners around the state.

Though she still owns and operate White Flour Catering and Lisa's Restaurant in Augusta, the China Dine-ah, which she purchased from original owner Norm Elvin six years ago, will remain closed for good.

In an emotional interview with WABI TV 5, Lisa goes on to say about the community of South China through tears, " I feel like I've let the whole town down ". We're here to say, of course you haven't.

Sure, the China Dine-ah has been a special place for all of us to congregate, enjoy great local food and drinks and to socialize. But it wasn't the restaurant itself that made the last six years so special. It was the people. People like Lisa Wardwell don't come around very often. Her contagious smile, her unique laughter and her incredible wit are the biggest parts of what makes a community feel whole.

So yeah, it stinks that a local business is closing, but please don't ever feel like you have let the town down, Lisa. You are a rock star in Central Maine and you do more for the communities you live and work in than most people we know. Don't ever change, and don't ever think you let anyone down. Quite the opposite.. You help people UP, and that's what makes YOU so important to all of US!

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