Business Beat: FIGA Restaurant Closing Tomorrow; Future Still “Up in the Air”

Lee Farrington,FIGA Chef/Owner and David Martines: “At least I had a chance to tell Lee…”

By Carol McCracken  (Post # 1,253)

By 6:00 pm. tonight, the small FIGA restaurant at the bottom of the Hill was packed with customers – all aware that Figa’s  2 -year run is coming to a close tomorrow night – far too soon for everyone who had come to savor a last meal at the popular 40 seat restaurant owned by chef Lee Farrington.

“I had heard about this restaurant,” said David Martines, 37, one of tonight’s dinner guests. “So I came about eight months ago and my girlfriend and I have been frequent guests since then. This place changed my life,” he said. Martines, an avid golfer, had developed ‘golfer’s elbow’ – a painful condition that prevented  him from squeezing the shaft of a golf club. He had other joint issues, like his knees. The first time that Martines ate at Figa he peppered the wait staff with questions about much of the vegan items on the menu.  “I asked basic questions about the vegan menu and the wait staff answered them without making me feel dumb,” he said.  Martines has changed hid diet; avoing dairy products and anything that comes from an animal.  ” I give Lee credit for improving my diet greatly.  Physical spaces come and go, but the lasting impact of FIGA has changed my life.” 

Farrington took a short break from her chef duties and chatted with Martines.  She recommended several vegan vendors in the area  including The Green Elephant and Rooster  (?) Her future plans are “up in the air.”  A runner, for the past several years, she has not had time to run and plans to get back to that and get herself healthier.  She owns the building in which FIGA is located so she has numerous options to consider.  Selling the building, renting it out and it’s even possible she’ll be back eventually with a different business plan.  “It’s up in the air,” Farrington said.

Martines, originally from New York, was recruited by Bowdoin College, as a LaCrosse player.  Athletics are important to him.  “Nothing lasts for ever.  At least I had a chance to tell Lee how much she’s inspired me and changed my life for the better.”   Sunday he and his girlfriend leave for two weeks vacation in Florida where he intends to spend much of that time on the golf course – something he wouldn’t have dreamed of a year ago.

Reservations are not taken at FIGA, but it’s expected that it will be more crowded than usual Saturday evening; the last night of its all too short run.